MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen has a rather surprising take on his West Virginia football team's offense.
That would be the offense that on Saturday scored one touchdown - largely on a terrific individual effort - at Oklahoma just 10 months after scoring gaining 778 yards and scoring 49 points against the Sooners.
"This is going to sound silly, but our pass game was better schemed and we had more open guys this year than we did last year,'' Holgorsen said Tuesday during his weekly session with the media. "Stedman [Bailey] had a great game last year, but he made catches when the [defender] was right here in his hip pocket.
"We had more open guys and we didn't do a very good job of hitting those open guys and we didn't do a very good job of catching it when we had opportunities to make plays.''
He's right, of course. It does sound silly.
Taking the offense as a whole - not just versus one common opponent - last year's high-octane attack was the one that averaged over 500 yards and a shade under 40 points per game. This year the Mountaineers are averaging less than 400 yards and have scored three touchdowns in two games.
The Geno Smith-Stedman Bailey-Tavon Austin offense of 2012 could score three touchdowns in three minutes, or so it sometimes seemed.
Holgorsen's point, though, is that last year's bunch often did so because of great plays by great players. This year, he claims, the Mountaineers are actually in better position to make plays than last year, but just haven't done it.
And he knows whom to blame.
"I think we're closer than it appears on offense,'' Holgorsen said. "I accept full responsibility for seven points [in a 16-7 loss at Oklahoma]. It's embarrassing. I don't care who we're playing.
"I've got the utmost respect for [OU coaches] Bob and Mike Stoops, but with that said seven points is embarrassing and we have to fix it. We need to get guys that make plays. We need to do a better job of putting guys in position to make plays.''
Then he used the P word, with a certain amount of angst.
"There's potential on offense,'' Holgorsen said. "That word disturbs me. I don't like it very much. But there is potential on offense.
"A lot of people talk about how talented we are. Even guys on our team talk about how talented we are. Prove it. Make some plays when you're put in those situations. And if you don't then we're going to try to put some other guys in those situations.''