A closer look at Dana Holgorsen
With the addition of Dana Holgorsen to the Oklahoma State staff, I decided it would be great to have a Q&A with someone who has watched Holgorsen in action for the past two seasons. University of Houston beat writer Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle was kind enough to answer some questions about Holgorsen and what Cowboys fans can expect in 2010.
Brandon Chatmon: What type of personality is Holgorsen? Energetic, laid back, etc?
Steve Campbell: Can one be laid-back AND energetic? Holgorsen has a casual, laid-back air, preferring to show up for work each day in shorts and sandals. He tries to keep things on an even keel, often saying, “Things are never as good as they seem and things are never as bad as them seem.” But he will jump on his players if they screw up, often in creatively colorful language.
BC: What can OSU fans expect from a Dana Holgorsen offense?
SC: At its best, a Holgorsen offense is a like the one OSU fans saw at Stillwater for UH’s 45-35 upset. Holgorsen hit OSU with a mix of screens, short passes, shovel passes and runs. They spread the field and create one-on-one matchups, depending on the quarterback to make quick decisions and quick, accurate, safe throws.
BC: How did Houston’s offense under Holgorsen compare with Texas Tech?
SC: Holgorsen puts it this way: “We actually run the ball.” UH was at its best when it had pass-run ratio of about 60-40. That went out of whack the final two games, when the offensive line got a little depleted and struggled a lot. Holgorsen doesn’t use as wide of splits with the offensive linemen as Mike Leach did at Tech, believing it made it too difficult to protect the passer. UH also had more of a screen game than Tech.
BC: Did Houston use the tight end at all?
SC: UH used a tight end, Mark Hafner, quite effectively in his first season at UH. Hafner wasn’t a classic tight end, though, more of WR/tight end hybrid. Injuries decimated the tight end corps early in 2009, so the tight ends pretty much disappeared from the offense.
BC: OSU has a deep group of running backs. Should they be concerned or will Holgorsen find a way to use them?
SC: Bryce Beall was the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2008, rushing for more than 1,200 yards. Charles Sims was the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2009, rushing for 698 yards and racking up 759 receiving. Though Beall’s production fell last season because of injuries and late-season fumbling issues, he and Sims combined for 1,368 yards rushing and 1,070 receiving. An individual back won’t get 20 carries a lot, but he’ll be quite involved in the passing game. Psst, OSU backs: You’d better work on catching the ball and running routes.
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