Over the years, Dana Holgorsen has had to break in new quarterbacks. He's had to adjust to new teams, new coaches and even new conferences. At no point has his offense faltered... until this year.
Holgorsen says the goal is to get better each of the remaining weeks of the season.
West Virginia is averaging 22.9 points per game, which would be the lowest for a season since 2001, the first year Rich Rodriguez manned the sideline for the Mountaineers. That's been tough for Holgorsen to handle.
"It’s been challenging," he admitted during today's media conference call. "I’ve never dealt with it before. I’ve never dealt with this many guys that are new. You got new people at every single spot."
While true that WVU is breaking in nine new starters on offense - and a multitude of new backups - Holgorsen says it's also challenging because of staff changes on that side of the ball.
"You got a coaching staff that continues to learn how to coach together and gameplan together and call plays and react together," he said. "I’ve been very pleased with how our coaching staff has bonded and been united and worked together. Then again, it’s still a lot of unknowns – three guys on the offense that haven’t coached this offense before."
Don't look for any quick fixes that will turn this offense into "The Greatest Show on Turf," but Holgorsen's goal is to get the offense on the right track and improve as the year comes to a close - and into the future.
"I just want to continue to show improvement," he said. "Is it winning offensive football? No, it is not winning offensive football. It hasn’t been all year. I take full responsibility for that. We need to continue to coach them hard, which they are. Our players need to continue to allow themselves to be coached, which they are. We need to continue to develop young guys and recruit guys that can come in and play winning football out there on the field."
When asked what the program needs as a whole to be atop the Big12 consistently - like West Virginia was accustomed to in the Big East - Holgorsen was very blunt.
"We need a lot of things," he said. "The transition from the Big East to the Big 12, we knew was going to be challenging. The Big12 obviously has some of the best football that’s going to be played across the country. (They have) top teams with facilities, with recruiting and players - all of that stuff needs to improve on our end."
All of that is going to take some time, and that's something Holgorsen says people needs to realize.
"I think it’s going to take everyone a couple years to truly understand the magnitude of the Big 12, our coaches and players included."