"I'd like to throw the ball a lot more than we did,'' Holgorsen said. "We're talking about throwing the ball 30 percent of the time. That's embarrassing. We're going to try to correct that, that's for certain.''
At Oklahoma, the offense has gone from heavy-pass to heavy-run, too, but by choice. Coach Bob Stoops held a month-long quarterback competition to replace four-year starter Landry Jones and chose a winner, redshirt freshman Trevor Knight, who perhaps runs the ball better than he throws it. As a result, the Sooners resemble far more the option OU teams of the 1970s and '80s than the pass-happy teams Stoops has led the past 14 years.
"Offensively, they're not the thrilling team that they have been the last several years. They're going to run the ball,'' Holgorsen said of the Sooners. "They've got capable backs, quality receivers and big fullbacks. The receivers aren't getting the ball as much because their main focus is to get Knight the ball and establish the run.''
Defensively, too, both teams are different, but there it's for the same reason. Both were lousy a year ago - the Sooners primarily at the end of the season and the Mountaineers from start to finish - and both have tried to correct the flaws.
For Oklahoma, that meant altering the scheme, going more to a three-man front with a strong linebacker presence behind that line. A year ago, West Virginia gained a nearly unfathomable 778 yards against OU in a 50-49 loss, mainly because the Mountaineers put Tavon Austin in the backfield, got him past the line of scrimmage and let him run wild against a spread secondary.
"They addressed a lot of things in the offseason,'' Holgorsen said, referring mainly to OU's defense, which in games against WVU, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M gave up averages of nearly 635 yards and 46 points. "I don't think they liked how they ended the year last year, just like we didn't.
West Virginia didn't alter schemes, but the Mountaineers did change coordinators and worked on philosophy and attitude. The results in the first game were mixed. For the most part, William & Mary was contained, but receiver Tre McBride made two big catches and the Tribe converted a third down that led to all of its 17 points.
"You can say we played pretty well on defense with the exception of three plays. Well, three plays made us look really bad in the second quarter,'' Holgorsen said. "If you want to be a good defense you've got to cover. If you want to say we were good on defense with the exception of three plays, those three plays gave them 17 points, which is way too many.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.