MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Of all the things that might have made West Virginia's offensive transition from stars to projects at the skill positions this season a bit easier, it would have been better play from the offensive line.
Dana Holgorsen has known that from the start. He has preached the importance of it. New quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs need time to develop. The offensive line could give it to them.
For the most part that didn't happen, which is a major reason the Mountaineers struggled so badly on offense. Now, though, as it matters most with the season on the line, perhaps it's coming around.
Holgorsen believes that not only did West Virginia's offensive line dominate in last week's 30-27 overtime win at TCU, so did the defensive line. Now the hope is that it continues because with Texas coming to town on Saturday it has to.
"It's going to have to happen again this week,'' Holgorsen said Tuesday. "Last year when we played Texas we won the game up front. We will not win the game with skill guys because they are very talented at those positions, as well as up front. If you win the line you have a chance to win the game.''
The teams play Saturday in a 7 p.m. game at Mountaineer Field. West Virginia (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) is trying to continue on a path to become bowl eligible. Texas (6-2, 5-0) is trying to win a Big 12 championship after a disastrous start to the season.
How good was West Virginia's offensive line play last week? Well, running back Charles Sims rushed for 154 yards, the most ever against a TCU team coached by the defensive-minded Gary Patterson, and he didn't do it alone.
"We challenged them to be physical up front,'' Holgorsen said. "We felt like we could be the more physical team and we were.