Holgorsen. though, can't afford to go into this game - or any, for that matter - with the idea that his offense has to outscore the other team's in a shootout. The bottom line is he has to maintain the attitude that his defense is gearing to stop the opponent every time, even if he knows that's not possible.
"There are so many good offenses in the Big 12. Baylor's got a great offense,'' Holgorsen said. "If you think we're just going to shut them down, you're nuts. But what you've got to do is you've got to line up and keep playing, no matter what happened the previous possession, no matter what happened the previous play.
"You've got to have a short memory and line up and execute your job on the next play or the next series. If you give up a couple of plays or a couple of touchdowns, you've got to be able to get out there and focus to get a key stop. That's the mentality you have to have, especially when you play a team like Baylor.''
In a way, both West Virginia and Baylor have adopted the same philosophy on defense, one that permeates the Big 12. Yes, the attempt is to stop opposing offenses, but knowing that's not going to happen, there has to be something else. And that's the turnover factor that Oklahoma State used to its advantage last season.
West Virginia and Baylor are both among the top 15 teams in the country in turnover margin this season. Five Big 12 teams in all rank among the top 15.
Shoot, Holgorsen even went so far to hire his defensive coordinator based on that philosophy. Joe DeForest was the safeties coach at Oklahoma State last season.
"That mentality exists in the Big 12,'' Holgorsen said. "I saw [Texas coach] Mack Brown talk about it. That's all they're working on is turnover ratio. One reason Joe DeForest is our defensive coordinator is because they led the country in forcing turnovers last year. They gave up yards, they forced turnovers.
"We're going to give up yards, but we're going to force turnovers. Baylor's given up a bunch of yards, but they've forced turnovers.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.