West Virginia (3-3, 1-2) enters a bye week on the heels of a 73-42 loss at the hands of Baylor Saturday, but head coach Dana Holgorsen still believes that his team is close to breaking through and being a consistently good football team.
The Bears continued their offensive onslaught to start the season, churning up almost 850 yards in the process and while the Mountaineers battled until the end the group did not play at the same level as it did a week ago against Oklahoma State.
"We didn't play as well as we'd hoped. Baylor was prepared, they were fresh, they were fast, they were energized," the head coach said. "…Baylor had revenge on their mind; they didn't like what happened last year."
Holgorsen said he was impressed with the speed that the Bears played with as that aspect of the game surpassed his already lofty expectations entering the matchup. But truly the biggest difference between this year and last year's Baylor teams was the physical play up front on both sides of the ball, as the Bears controlled the line of scrimmage.
West Virginia managed 70-points against the Bears last season, but were unable to sustain drives Saturday and beat Baylor in a shootout, something that the coaching staff wanted to avoid.
"We don't have the fire power to get in a track meet," he said.
West Virginia will take the rest of the week to practice every aspect of the game before the Mountaineers take the field a week from Saturday against Texas Tech at home. The Red Raiders are currently 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in Conference. They will take on Iowa State this weekend before traveling to Morgantown.
Holgorsen explained his more hands-on approach to play calling and the offense this season as a result of how he feels about where West Virginia is defensively and with special teams. Because those areas have performed well, it allows him to work more with the offensive side and his communication with Shannon Dawson has been very good to this stage of the season.