No, there's not a simple fix.
There are, however, things that can be done to mitigate the damage and mask some of the weaknesses in a defense that is surrendering yards and points at an almost historic rate. If West Virginia is to survive the final five weeks of the season, it's probably going to have to come by that route rather than basic improvement.
In other words, getting better would be great, but short of that someone had better start coming up with more creative ways to hide the fact that this defense isn't very good. And so far, West Virginia's coaches have failed at that.
Again, it's not the scheme. The very notion of playing the scheme West Virginia is playing is to be adaptable. Simply put (too simply, actually), it can easily morph from a unit aligned to stop the run to one set up to stop the pass. It is designed to mix fronts and coverages and adapt to what's happening.
That this defense hasn't adapted to opponents figuring out how to mix routes and get receivers embarrassingly uncovered is what has made it dead last in the country in pass defense and giving up an average of 53 points to four Big 12 opponents.
Holgorsen insists that coverage tricks have been tried. Hopefully they haven't been exhausted.
"We've tried to cover some areas up,'' Holgorsen said. "Within our defensive scheme there are different coverages and blitzes. If it doesn't work, we can go to another one. It's a multiple defense.
"When [Kansas State] hit us on a cover two with a seam route, we went to cover three. When they started to hit us on out routes [because of the deep coverage], we went to a press-and-bail cover four. We mix things up, but it ultimately comes down to execution. You guys saw where a couple of times the ball was in the air and we had a guy there. They made the plays. How can we get our guys in any better position than that? We constantly try to tweak it.''
Tricks, though, will get you only so far. The bottom line is that West Virginia's defensive coaches have to do a better job of figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of the players on the field and adapting the defense to that. It's not a matter of changing the scheme, but recognizing what is possible within that scheme given the talent on hand.
And that's up to the defensive coaches.
"We have to make things more manageable. We can't try to manufacture plays or people. We can't come up with tricks, because that's not the solution,'' Holgorsen said. "We've been talking about what we're good at on all three sides of the ball and how we get back to doing those things. We've narrowed down some things.
"We're going to focus on trying to get better at things that we're already good at. We'll build some confidence because of that. We'll rebuild and re-energize as we prepare for our next game.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.