For instance, West Virginia ran 74 plays in each of the first two games of the season. Against Maryland, the Mountaineers ran just 68. With an offense that tends to drop back and either throw or scramble on perhaps 45 or 50 plays a game, that doesn't leave much room for establishing the run.
"Maryland did a good job of taking the run away. The 20 times that we handed the ball off [as opposed to 43 passes and five scrambles], we didn't get that many yards,'' Holgorsen said. "But we didn't have the ball very much either. When you're looking at only 65 snaps to deal with, you don't want to waste half of them for the sake of handing them off to try and establish the run.
"We did a pretty good job in the pass game, so that's what scored the points. If we were sitting here without 31 points we wouldn't be very happy right now.''
It would seem, though, that against Baylor there will likely be more of an emphasis on running the football. For starters, there are sure to be more plays given that Baylor runs its offense just as fast as West Virginia.
"No one on either side is going to be sitting there trying to milk the clock,'' said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
And Baylor has yet to prove it can stop the run, either. In three games the Bears have given up 145, 126 and 262 yards rushing.
But if West Virginia is to have success running the ball, it is more likely with Alston in the mix. He played only a few plays against Maryland and didn't carry the ball.
"He didn't practice much last week and he could have played a little bit more on Saturday, but he didn't practice Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, so we thought that it was in our best interest not to play him,'' Holgorsen said. "It is a long season and if you're not healthy enough to practice during the week then you're probably not going to play on Saturday. He was an emergency guy and got in a few times.
"He'll need to practice [this week] at a high level to count on him playing Saturday. Do I expect that to happen? Yes, I do.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.