LUBBOCK, Texas - Go ahead and admit it. You knew this was possible, right?
You didn't seriously watch Marshall roll up 560 yards and Baylor get 700 and think it was a fluke. You didn't see West Virginia surrender an average of 54 points to its first two Big 12 opponents and see a mere glitch.
And as good as Geno Smith and the offense were - and no doubt still are - it wasn't going to last an entire season where the Mountaineers would navigate every mine field just because it had even more land mines of its own and could win the battle of attrition.
But seriously, no one saw this, not a 49-14 embarrassment at the hands of Texas Tech. One minute you're laughing at the fact that ABC is cutting away from the Oklahoma beatdown of Texas so as not to miss the start of WVU-Texas Tech. A few hours later the network is bailing the same way on this ugliness in order to get to BYU and Oregon State.
How did it happen? Well, this was the definition of a team effort as far as West Virginia is concerned. A defense that was already giving up 463 yards and 41/2 touchdowns a game surrendered 686 and seven. An offense that was operating at a 570-yard, seven-TD clip earned just 408 and two. Oh, and just for good measure there was another shanked punt - welcome to the club, Tyler Bitancurt - and a near turnover on a muffed punt for the special teams.
Make no mistake about it, though, while everyone contributed and while the offensive futility is perhaps the baffling element, this loss is still on the defense. After all that Smith and the offense have done, they get a mulligan for a bad game or a bad stretch. The defense? No.
It was bad at the start of the season. It has remained bad throughout the season. And it really doesn't show much hope of getting better the rest of the season. You can hope, of course, but none of the data supports that hope.
Dana Holgorsen can try to spread the blame or the fault or whatever you want to call it. And to a degree he's right. It was actually pretty baffling to watch Smith and Holgorsen's offense spin its wheels. It was even stranger listening to those two try to explain it afterward.
Take Holgorsen, who both at halftime and after the game made reference to the wind, which gusted to near 30 miles per hour at times.
"Geno let the wind affect him,'' Holgorsen said. "I played around here for eight years [as an assistant at Tech from 2001 through 2008] and it wasn't any windier today. It's a nuisance, but if you let that be an excuse it's going to mess with you. And I think it did.''