MORGANTOWN - The way Dana Holgorsen figures, it's not time to worry about trying any hard sells or gimmicks to motivate his West Virginia football team.
At least it's not that time yet.
It could come pretty soon, however. The Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) play equally disappointing Kansas State (2-4, 0-3) Saturday afternoon on the road in Manhattan, Kan., and the longer WVU goes without a win the more critical things become.
West Virginia needs three more wins to become bowl eligible. There are just five games remaining. The math isn't that difficult.
"We're focused on Kansas State right now,'' Holgorsen said. "A bowl game is important, but a fourth win is more important. We've not gotten to the point where we need to talk about the motivation to win. I think the motivation to win is there.''
What isn't there, even as the two-thirds point of the season approaches, is efficiency and execution.
"If you're not able to execute things, then you can't win,'' Holgorsen said. "We're continuing to focus on being able to execute better.
"Offensively, I think we began to execute better last week [in a 37-27 loss to Texas Tech], but I was extremely disappointed in how we finished the game, especially offensively. Prior to that we were moving the ball better and the flow that had not existed in most of the previous games [was there]. So offensively, we have to continue to improve.''
Indeed, rather than rah-rah speeches or any kind of motivational tools, what West Virginia needs to do in order to win games is simply become a better football team. Until - or perhaps unless - that happens, what good is motivation?
"We've shown we can play at a high level and we've shown we can play at a very low level,'' Holgorsen said. "We need consistency on defense and we need to continue to improve offensively and get into a rhythm and glue it together with special teams. We need them to do what we're asking them to do, which will lead to a victory.