Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 06, 2018 at 10:49 pm.

Holgorsen borrows Steelers’ playbook to beat Texas

You can give Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin an assist on West Virginia’s two-point conversion play that helped beat Texas last Saturday in Austin.

No team has gone for two more than the Steelers over the past few years, and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen went to school, as it were, during offseason visits to glean ideas on how to incorporate what the Steelers do in his game planning.

Holgorsen admitted Monday during his weekly teleconference that coming up with successful two-point plays and deciding when to use them are some of the most difficult things coaches do. He said that visiting the Steelers practice helped him formulate the play on the two-point conversion that lifted the Mountaineers past Texas last week.

“I went up and visited with the Steelers a lot and Coach Tomlin, and they go for two a lot,” Holgorsen said. “It’s on the 2-yard-line in the NFL and they practice it a lot and go for it a lot. They’ve got a good quarterback, and we’ve taken some of that.”

Holgorsen added that the actual plays he and his coaches employ are based on schemes and how his team is performing near the goal line during the course of the game. Momentum and the way the Mountaineers were handling the Texas defense had factors in the end-of-game decision, as well.

“Texas was doing a good job offensively — they had our defense on its heels a little bit, and I felt like it was the right call,” he said. “I told the guys on the sideline before they got the ball, ‘Guys, let’s go down and score and we’ll go for two and win this thing.’

“They went out there and believed it. They came to the sidelines after we scored and already knew what our two-point play was going to be.”

The Mountaineers, who climbed from 13th to ninth in the latest CFP rankings after the win at Texas, will have to keep playing well to beat TCU this Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.