MORGANTOWN - So the overriding question in regard to West Virginia's 55-12 smackdown of Norfolk State Saturday afternoon was an easy one, right?
It had nothing to do with Geno Smith's 371 passing yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers. It had little to do with the Mountaineers' 533 total yards or the fact that by game's end a true freshman was tossing touchdown passes or that Norfolk State had punted seven times and gained just two first downs in its last seven possessions.
No, all of that was expected. But it was expected right from the start.
Which begs the question: What was up with that first half?
"We're a young football team. We're inexperienced,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "I don't know if we're trying too hard, but we didn't look very good in the first half. I don't know if that's a coaching error as far as not having these guys ready on a short week or whatever. But that's a bunch of excuses. I'm proud of the way we came out in the second half and responded to what we said to them at halftime.''
"Do you really want me to repeat it?'' Holgorsen asked.
No, it's probably better left unsaid.
Still as well as West Virginia played in the second half - scoring six touchdowns and a field goal on seven possessions while holding Norfolk State to those two first downs on its seven tries - Holgorsen and the Mountaineers to a man realize that the same scenario can't be repeated in the next two weeks. On Saturday the Mountaineers play at Maryland and then a week later No. 2 LSU comes to Morgantown.
"We just have to come out faster. We came out dead in the first two quarters,'' said defensive end Bruce Irvin. "We can't come out dead these next two weeks. It's too important.''
Chronicling No. 19 West Virginia's second rather bizarre win in as many weeks - following the weather-ravaged 34-13 win over Marshall - is truly like night and day. Because the final score was so lopsided - it was the first time WVU scored that much since a 66-21 rout of Connecticut in 2007, 42 games ago - it's best to start with the positive.