MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Assistant coaches and players of the West Virginia University football team addressed members of the media on Tuesday. The Mountaineers welcome Iowa State on Saturday, at 4 p.m.
Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson
On the seniors and the feeling in the locker room this week
I think that reality sets in. You can sit there and try to prepare the guys throughout the season, but until that last game finally gets here, you can see reality is staring them right in the face – this is it. This is the last time you’re going to be able to run out on the field as a Mountaineer. A sense of urgency kicks in, and I think they see that this is the end.
On Iowa State possibly being the best 2-9 team in the country
I would say so. We have tremendous respect for Coach Paul Rhoads as a coach and as a leader. His teams, when you watch them play, it’s not like you see a team that has only won two football games. They play with emotion and passion. They play hard, and they’re fundamentally sound. I think that’s a reflection of coach Rhoads’ leadership.
On what to expect from Iowa State’s offense
It’s pretty much the same song just a different verse. You’ve got a running quarterback. They’ve developed an identity of who they want to become as a team. They’ve become more consistent. Even though the Oklahoma score got a little bit lopsided, it was 10-10 in the second quarter. They were playing well and having success moving the football. They present some challenges, because they can go big or they can spread the field and get in multiple formations. It’s like anything – they rotate the running backs, and we have to stop the run. We have to make them one dimensional.
Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson
On Iowa State
They’re going to play hard. Regardless of what the rest of their season has been like, they’re going to go out there and play hard. It’s impressive to watch those kids. They were this close to winning a lot of games this year, and they never got sidetracked. They come out every week and play hard. For the most part, those kids are tough kids with a lot of pride and are coached well.
On what to take away from this season
We have to be more consistent. That’s it, period. You look across the nation in college football, and there are a lot of teams who are right around .500. If you look those teams’ schedules, there are two or three games that could have put those teams at possibly seven or eight wins, or at two or three wins - which is the case with Iowa State.
Well, you look at our schedule and you see four wins – that could easily be eight wins. But, it could also easily be two wins. We just have to be more consistent and have to be able to finish. We went through three of four games where we were winning in the fourth quarter, but didn’t finish. Overall, just the consistency of offense, defense and special teams has to improve.
On beating Oklahoma State earlier in the season
It just shows you that you can beat the best, and you can get beat by the worst. You can get beat by the guys at the bottom, and you can beat the guys at the top – that’s where we are as a program. That kind of ties into the whole consistency deal. We beat Oklahoma State, and then we go on the road and play an awful game at Kansas. That’s not the same team who played those two games.
On the season coming to an end
I wouldn’t say I’m ready for it to be over. I’m not rushing anything. I’m just taking it day-by-day, but I’m definitely ready for this offseason and to put in work with the guys.
On the challenges presented by Iowa State
They’re a great football team. Every team in the Big 12 is good, so we’re just trying to get a win.
On Iowa State beating Kansas last week
I hadn’t seen Iowa State play this year. I wasn’t very surprised. I didn’t really know what to think of them. Kansas is pretty good, and Iowa State beat them. So we know Iowa State is going to be good on Saturday.
On the senior class
They were a bunch of guys who work hard. They were all-in with the program. They were here before coach Holgorsen got here. They’re just great guys, and they took me under their wings. They showed me right from wrong.
Charles is great player. He works very hard and is very humble. It’s just a good person to look up to and to try to watch him so you know what to do when you get at that level.
On the team as a whole
The guys out there have given great effort all year. We know we have guys who can make plays. It is just a matter of going out there and doing it. Hopefully, this Saturday we can get a win and some guys can make some plays.
The bye week is a good week for those types of guys. I know he played a lot at Pitt. He can definitely run. It will be a competitive offseason for the running backs, but right now we’re just focused on Saturday.
On getting a win Saturday
It’s important. We wanted to send those seniors to a bowl game, and we came up short as a team. This is our last chance to send them out right with a win. I know all of those guys have worked hard and have done a lot for this program, so we want to get them a win.
On what Millard is thankful for
I’m thankful for my family and Mountaineer football. I’m thankful for a lot of things.
On Anderson’s best memory at WVU
It has to be the Orange Bowl – everything about the Orange Bowl. Everything about that week and that experience was amazing.
On what Anderson wants people to remember most about him
That I’m a hard-working guy, and that I wouldn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t do something.
On his senior season
It’s tough, because we’re not going to a bowl game. Those seniors have gone through changes from the Big 12 to the Big East. We’ve made that transition. It’s kind of hard to think about what you’re going to be remembered as, since we’re not having the greatest season. But we want to go out with a win this week.
On learning from going through so many changes
I’ve talked to some of the younger kids about whatever happens, happens. You still have to go out there and play football. At WVU, you’re representing a lot of people who came before you. That’s what they have to continue to do.
On what’s next for Anderson
I want to go in to coaching. I want to do that and hopefully try to get a graduate assistantship somewhere. I’ve already been working on my resume. That’s something I would enjoy.
On Rigg’s health and his confidence
I feel pretty good right now. I think people have been scared for me the most - just talking about possible things that could go wrong. I haven’t been afraid, though, and I’m not afraid right now.
On playing on Saturday against Iowa State
I told them I’m going to be honest with them. If I felt something, I was going to tell them immediately. It wasn’t something I was going to play around with. It’s my last game here, so it would mean a lot for me to play.
On finishing his career strong
It would mean a lot to go out on a good note. Obviously, the Kansas loss doesn’t look good. We want to go out with a win. We don’t want to lose to back-to-back teams at the bottom of the Big 12. We want to go out with a win. It will bring momentum going into the season next year.