MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Typically, a bye week for a football team is a time to step back and take stock.
Sure, it's also a time to rest and heal. It provides a few days for coaches to go recruiting. It can be cathartic just to get away from the game for a few days.
West Virginia's football team did all of that last week.
"I told them to come back in the right frame of mind,'' Dana Holgorsen said of giving his players three days off over the weekend to do nothing. "Here are three days. Go be human beings. Get away from it.''
But there was also that taking-stock thing to be done. Off weeks are a great time not only to evaluate what is to come, but also what has already transpired. Coaches do self-scouting all the time, but with a week off they can really do it in depth.
So Holgorsen and his staff did just that. At the midpoint of what is now a 3-3 season, what they found was disturbing in a lot of ways, particularly on offense.
"We looked at it like everybody does, to see if we developed any tendencies,'' Holgorsen said. "Offensively, we've been sub-par at everything, so there really aren't any tendencies. The only tendency is that we really are not great at anything.''
All of which means that heading into the second half of the season - which begins Saturday with a noon home game against No. 16 Texas Tech - West Virginia's issues aren't so much a matter of tweaking things as they are getting back to basics.
There's no point in identifying tendencies and changing them if nothing your offense does works better than anything else. But you do have to make some decisions and try to stick with them.
"We looked at it very closely and we've identified as coaches what we do well and what we do not do well,'' Holgorsen said. "We're not shifting guys around as we have. We understand what our personality is offensively and now we just have to get good at it and gain some confidence.''
So what has West Virginia done well offensively? Well, not much. The Mountaineers have run the ball fairly well at times during the season, but not with any consistency from one week to the next. They have thrown the ball well against no one save for Georgia State, and given the ineptitude of those Panthers that shouldn't even really count.
West Virginia still doesn't have a quarterback that everyone agrees is the one, a deep group of receivers seems to have one player step up occasionally but not consistently, and the running game is hit and miss behind an inconsistent line.