"We've got a strange combination [of players],'' Holgorsen said. "We've got a bunch of older kids that want to finish the year strong, that want to keep winning, that want to show improvement, that want to get to a good bowl game and win games. And then there's a bunch of young kids that don't understand any of this.
"It's a combination of both and it's our job to mix the two and keep the attitude good.''
A solid performance and a win today would certainly contribute mightily as West Virginia heads into the stretch run of the regular season. Holgorsen certainly doesn't want to take a team on a three-game losing streak into back-to-back games the next two Saturdays at Oklahoma State and home against Oklahoma. Following that is a Thanksgiving Friday game at Iowa State and the regular-season home finale Dec. 1 against Kansas.
TCU, meanwhile, has had so many issues to deal with that it's hard to see how the Horned Frogs wouldn't be reeling right now. Injuries or other factors have subtracted the team's starting quarterback and top rusher (Waymon James) and have hampered a laundry list of other key players. Last week TCU jumped out to a 14-0 lead at Oklahoma State and then gave up 36 straight points.
But TCU is no pushover. The Horned Frogs scored 49 in a win over Baylor three weeks ago and 53 in a three-overtime loss to Texas Tech a week later.
While it obviously didn't do much good last week, TCU is essentially in its second week of preparing for West Virginia's offense after facing Oklahoma State, which still uses Holgorsen's scheme.
"Playing a very similar offense at Oklahoma State, you've got to understand you have to play the deep ball and you have to be able to stop the run,'' Patterson said. "But Oklahoma State doesn't have the caliber of the two wide receivers West Virginia does. They can really get past you and get down the field one-on-one.''
If those West Virginia receivers both play to their potential, that would surely be a boost for WVU. But while Tavon Austin has been consistent, Stedman Bailey's production has dropped off dramatically since he was injured at Texas Tech. Holgorsen refuses to discuss injuries, so how healthy Bailey is for today's game remains a great unknown.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.