MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Dana Holgorsen would never admit that any game is an opportunity to experiment. The West Virginia coach is fond of saying that no matter the competition, he and his staff and players will treat them the same.
They game-planned for William & Mary the same way they game-planned for Oklahoma, ignoring any perceived differences in the level of talent on the other side of the ball and instead simply dealt with the X's and O's, the strengths and weaknesses.
"I'm for doing whatever we have to do to move the ball,'' Holgorsen said prior to the opener. "If that means putting your best foot forward, then I highly recommend putting your best foot forward. We will game-plan William & Mary just like we game-plan Oklahoma the next week. Whatever we feel like we're good at, we're going to go do it.''
Well, today West Virginia (1-1) faces Georgia State (0-2) at Mountaineer Field (noon kickoff, Root Sports). The visiting Panthers are just terrible, having lost their first two games to FCS opponents without much of a fight.
While Holgorsen might be averse to admitting it, there seems no question that this is a time to experiment, especially with an offense that has yet to get out of first gear. Consider this: There is a chance that everyone who starts on offense and is in a position to handle the football could be starting for the first time in a college football game.
Might Holgorsen have started the same inexperienced cast if the Mountaineers were playing, say, next week's opponent, Maryland, today? Could be. After all, he obviously feels the need to shake things up.