Monken Owes Much To Holgorsen

Todd Monken

Todd Monken has no antimosity toward former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, quite the contrary. Monken has nothing but thanks for Holgorsen, now West Virginia's head coach. He says he doesn't know him well, but he knows that Holgorsen's departure from OSU opened the door for Monken to move back into being an offensive coordinator.

"Dana has helped me in more ways that one," said Monken. "He helped me and it has paid off for me from a monetary standpoint too."

Now that doesn't mean that Monken doesn't recognize the pride involved with Saturday's game against West Virginia, and yes, he very much wants to win like he does every week.

There is a lot of familiarity between the two coaching staffs.

"It goes both ways. What we do and what they do are pretty similar," Monken explained. "I know Joe DeForest and them are running more three-down lineman sets. That's probably more along the lines of what they have done and what they've recruited to.

"They know our guys and know our players. We don't have anybody here who knows their guys, but that's neither here nor there. We just have to play good football on both sides of the ball and not turn it over.

"They're playing a lot of new guys and they have a new defensive staff for the most part," Monken continued on the Mountaineers defense which is dead last in scoring defense allowing 39.8 points per game and ninth in total defense allowing 482.5 yards per game.

"Sometimes you don't know your guys as well until they play against other people. You think you know in practice, but the sample size is so small, you don't know. I'm sure they went through some of that. But they have good coaches and good players. It's just like us; trying to figure out what you do well, be able to practice it and then play that way."

As for the West Virginia offense, Monken doesn't have to defend it. But if the Mountaineers are successful his offense may have to keep up with it. They are averaging 40.8 points and 480.4 yards per game.

The Geno Smith show slowed down for a couple of weeks in losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State before jumping back last week in the 39-38 double overtime loss to TCU.

"They were much better last week," Monken stated. "That's obvious on film. So I would guess it would be silly for them to change from what worked last week. The bottom line is we have to play good football, not turn it over and put a number of plays together that give us a chance to score"

The big chore this week for Monken will be determining who will quarterback the Cowboys, and what price is paid for preparation.

"It's just about getting reps," Monken said. "We were lucky enough that when we came out of spring I thought we had three good quarterbacks. I said that then and I really meant it.

"There wasn't a large margin between them, each sample size was so small. Clint Chelf had never played in a game that was on the line and the other two sure as heck hadn't. Whether Clint had thrown four touchdowns and led us to victory or thrown four interceptions, the sample size is still the same. You take what you have and make the best decision you can make."

The Cowboys return to the practice field on Tuesday.

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