MORGANTOWN - Dana Holgorsen said it could take two or three games before he has a grasp on the character of his West Virginia University football team, but he is liking what he has seen so far.
"Camp is three weeks, so you try to figure out your team in three weeks," he said following Thursday's practice. "Then at that point, you get tired of practicing against each other, and you really can't tell anything until you play that first game."
WVU plays its first game at home Sept. 1 against in-state rival Marshall. Even then, Holgorsen said, it will take a few more weeks.
"Once you play that first game, it's all about how much improvement you make from game one to game two to game three before you figure out what your team is all about," he said.
Holgorsen said he enjoyed the "energy and competition" in Thursday' practice session, which lasted just short of three hours.
"It became more competitive and there was more energy as practice went on," he said. "That means these guys are excited about being out, excited about playing. Obviously, that's a good thing."
The coach said he is seeing "a lot of guys who enjoy playing football.
"Does that mean we'll be good and capable of winning games?" he said. "That doesn't mean that. But we have a bunch of guys with the right attitude that want to play, which means we should get better throughout the course of camp."
Holgorsen said the players are feeling good about what is happening at camp, and that attitude is what is fueling the intensity.
"We coach (energy). That's what they pay us to do," he said. "That's something we believe in, and we've talked a lot about body language, a lot about confidence, a lot about effort, energy and excitement. I truly believe you can coach that stuff like you can coach guys where to line up on a specific play."
Thursday's practice consisted of a short, 20-play scrimmage, which Holgorsen said was well-balanced between offensive and defensive successes.