But as much as West Virginia's offense is in flux, Iowa State's might be even more of an unknown. All season long - and during the four-year tenure of coach Paul Rhoads - the Cyclones have been as basic as basic gets with the football.
That really didn't change last week when ISU beat Kansas 51-23, but within that basic offense Rhoads found someone who ran it better than anyone else has. Redshirt freshman Sam Richardson replaced starter Steele Jantz on the third series of the game and completed 23 of 27 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns.
"We actually simplified the offense, but not for him,'' Rhoads said. "We had decided to simplify things no matter who was in there. It just turned out that when we put him in, it was just right for him to run.''
Rhoads wouldn't even commit this week to starting Richardson and there seems the very good possibility that Jantz, a senior, could get the nod on ISU's senior day. But Richardson will certainly play and the offense won't change.
"They're not overly complicated with what they do offensively. They're going to spread you out, they're going to run the zone, they're going to zone read - which they did with [Richardson] - and they're going to get the ball out of their hands,'' Holgorsen said. "They're excellent at not getting caught with the ball in the backfield and all three quarterbacks do the same thing. From a scheme standpoint, it's not really going to make a difference to us who they play at quarterback.''
No, but what will make a difference is whether West Virginia's defense can stop what the Cyclones run. That's not been the case in almost any game this season, with opponents doing whatever they want and generally doing it better against the Mountaineers than anyone else.
Holgorsen, though, insists his defense is improving, but chances are good that it will have to be proven today if the Mountaineers are going to finally win the sixth game needed for bowl eligibility.
"It comes down to the same thing it always does, making stops,'' Holgorsen said. "We've gotten better at doing that. We're making more. But until we do it consistently we're still going to have problems.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1