MORGANTOWN - Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind while waiting for West Virginia's first, real, full-scale scrimmage:
And waiting. And waiting.
"We could do that, but we're not going to,'' coach Dana Holgorsen said. "There's a whole bunch of drill work and stuff that we need to address.''
Used to be you could pretty much set your watch - or at least know where you were on the calendar - by West Virginia's August scrimmage schedule. The first one was usually the Saturday at the end of the first full week of practice. There'd be smaller scrimmages during the next week and then pretty much a blowout one at the end of camp, just before classes began.
Holgorsen was asked a few days ago about his team's scrimmages. There are always team periods where the offense works against the defense and there are times when the coaches will simply put things together for 15 or 20 minutes and let them play to see where things stand.
But a full-scale, game-like practice?
"Well, when's the first game? The first [of September]?'' Holgorsen asked. "That's what we're shooting for.''
About the closest Holgorsen will come to scrimmaging full scale might be what he did Monday when he ran what he estimated to be about 50 plays. But
they were done at various times throughout practice rather than in a concentrated game-like situation.
"We'll continue to do a lot of individual drills, but we're at the point where we need to put the ball down and play,'' Holgorsen said.
Still, it won't dominate practices.
"We'd rather do drill work, inside drill, seven-on-seven, pass rush, one-on-ones, all that stuff. There's a whole bunch of stuff we need to practice,'' Holgorsen said. "If you just put the ball down and play all day, you're going to get a bunch of people hurt. So we try to keep that in small little segments.
"I don't like scrimmages. I don't like to put the ball and have a 120-play scrimmage. We expect them to go out there and play hard every day and have short little mini-scrimmages throughout camp. I think that's better overall for the health of your football team.''
I was struck by the fact that West Virginia's Big 12 basketball schedule released last week makes no concession to the Mountaineers' travel issues.
Only twice is WVU scheduled to play back-to-back road games against Big 12 teams and both times the first is on a Saturday and the second the following Wednesday, four days later.
It might have been nice to schedule, say, a Thursday-Saturday or a Monday-Wednesday trip where one trip might cover two games.