"That's a good thing because they are really good. I've watched our offensive line and they've gotten better. At some point, we have to be able to block them and we will."
Other items from Holliday's press conference, and beyond:
"I'm not going to make excuses for them. We just have to make plays," he said. "When you look at that deal at the end of the game where we made that play [keeping Rice from scoring a touchdown late in regulation], D.J. Hunter made the play there, but you also had [tackles] Jarquez Samuel and Steve Dillon in there as freshmen - so you've got freshman-freshman-freshman in there at the end, when [Rice] had the ball at the 2-yard line, and they found a way to get it done, which is critical.
"We will get better there. We have to. There is no choice."
"I can tell you I thank my lucky stars we have him," Holliday said. "During the summer, I didn't think we had anybody that could punt the ball. He's such a tremendous kid. He's third in the country in net punting [44.07], and that is the important thing."
Chris Jasperse, who has been the only Herd center used except in mop-up situations, leads the team with 354 plays. Jeffries is second with 343, followed by tackle Gage Niemeyer at 312. Garrett Scott, the starting right guard who was injured in the season opener at WVU and returned at Rice, has played 31 snaps.
Any fans. He saw the other end of the spectrum at Rice.
"In all my years of coaching, I don't know if I've been at a tougher environment to go play as a football team," he said. "Not only with the heat and the weather and all that, you walk in there and there's 200 people in the stands, it seems. You walk out there and it's 130 on the field and there's nobody there."
Another freshman walk-on, wide receiver Trey Wilds, has left the program.
And Van is now a cornerback.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.