"You've got to give Maryland some credit. They're a pretty good team. I think they're really good on defense,'' Holgorsen said. "They gave us fits last year when we had all these good players running around and a lot of experience. So I give them a tremendous amount of credit.''
Still, other good defenses have not shut down Holgorsen's offense like this. Childress completed fewer passes (11) for fewer yards (62) than any quarterback Holgorsen has ever coached. The Mountaineers gained just 175 yards and rushed for only 113, 51 of those on a meaningless run after all the game's points had been scored. West Virginia turned the ball over six times, five of them by the offense and the sixth by an offensive player fielding a punt.
"I see bigger issues,'' Holgorsen said when asked if the problems could be traced just to a young quarterback. "There's obviously some things that Ford can do to improve on what his performance was ... but the bigger issue is me.
"I've got to do a better job of getting these guys prepared to play. I've got to do a better job of calling plays. I've got to do a better job on all three sides of the ball, getting [players] motivated and ready to play. I didn't do a very good job of that last week, so it starts with me.''
Holgorsen also talked about the mindset of the players. It's not a bad one, but rather a wrong one, and again one that traces back to him.
"I've got to get these guys to where they're getting out there and they're playing a little looser,'' Holgorsen said. "I think we're playing pretty uptight. You can't go out there and be scared to make a mistake.''
"That's the mentality that needs to exist. And if it doesn't exist with me, then the finger comes right back at me.''
All in all it can't be argued that West Virginia's offensive performance against Maryland was due to one factor. It was a combination of things that led to WVU's first shutout since 2001.
"There's plenty of blame to go around,'' Holgorsen said. "The one that can be blamed more than anybody is me, that's for dang sure. That's not an acceptable performance.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1