"We're not going to change a whole bunch,'' Holgorsen said. "I thought we made progress in the last year. The record doesn't show it and ultimately that's what I'm going to be judged on. I understand that. But what we've done in the last year, we're going to crank it up and do it a little bit harder.''
Indeed, there are what seem to be legitimate reasons not to divert from the plan, at least in Holgorsen's way of thinking. Both offensively and defensively, a case can be made that West Virginia showed improvement, either from last year to this or from the beginning of this season to the end.
Defensively, the Mountaineers were statistically nearly as poor this year as last, but injuries decimated a lineup that seemed to be making progress.
"I'm not going to make excuses for why we gave up 575 yards,'' Holgorsen said of the yardage that Iowa State amassed in the finale, which was 120 yards more than even the norm for the season. "But there were a lot of kids out there that hadn't played a whole lot of football.''
And offensively, which is where Holgorsen butters his coaching bread, West Virginia was essentially starting from scratch with an entirely new group of skill position players.
"We talked about this earlier. The lack of continuity that existed with us offensively is something I don't anticipate happening again,'' Holgorsen said. "You get guys like Mario [Alford, who caught eight passes for 215 yards in the finale] that get comfortable making plays. That's just one example. You'll have guys that understand what we're trying to do a little bit better, which means that we can coach them on technique a little bit harder. And the more continuity that exists, the better we're going to be offensively.''
Alford, indeed, was a perfect example of Holgorsen's theory that the offense simply needs more time. He and others weren't even part of the program a year ago.
"You take a guy who just joined us in August, it's going to take some time,'' Holgorsen said. "I'm glad he got it this year. Kevin [White has] shown some signs of being a guy that's going to be pretty good for us. Daikiel [Shorts] is another.
"There are a lot of examples out there of guys that are just now figuring out what we're doing, and it makes a little more sense to them. I look forward to coaching those guys in the offseason.''
Which, like it or not, for WVU began early this year.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1.