"People have asked me about that. If motivational speaking was the way to coach a football team, there would be a whole lot of motivational speaking football coaches,'' Holgorsen said. "Their presence is appreciated, but if you think a few of their words are going to change the outlook of a football team, you're off your rocker.
"We appreciated their support and those guys are important to the program. But motivational speaking is not the answer when it comes to a well-prepared football team."
West Virginia's defense is among the worst in the nation and Iowa State relies on its defense to win football games, right? That's the prevailing perception.
At least some of the statistics, though, contradict that view.
For instance, during WVU's awful five-game losing streak the Mountaineers have surrendered an average of 533 yards per game. But over its last five games, two of them wins, the Cyclones have actually surrendered more yards, an average of 561.8 per game.
West Virginia still trails Iowa State in most defensive categories in the NCAA rankings, including total defense (ISU is 93rd, WVU 117th). But the Cyclones' pass defense isn't much better (No. 110) and WVU's run defense has an edge (29th vs. 59th).
But those numbers come with a caveat. Despite the yards, Iowa State is not giving up points at nearly the rate of West Virginia. The Cyclones are giving up just 22.6 per game and are the only league school that hasn't given up more than 35 points in a game. WVU has given up 34 or more eight times in 10 games and surrendered 45 or more six times.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1