MORGANTOWN - Dana Holgorsen doesn't have so much free time on his hands that he could afford to sit back and watch TV for three hours Monday night, but he was able to squeeze in a few glimpses of the first of two NFL games that night.
When he saw what the New England Patriots managed to do to Miami on the road - 516 passing yards, 622 total yards in a 38-24 win over the Dolphins - he couldn't help but be impressed.
The outburst, though, also reminded Holgorsen of what fans and the media have come to expect of him since he was hired as West Virginia's offensive coordinator last December and then elevated to head coach in June.
They expect Patriot-like offensive numbers.
"It's going to be awful hard for me to put out a product out there that looks like New England Patriots did [Monday] night,'' Holgorsen said Tuesday. "I've been a part of games that have done that, as well, but it probably didn't happen in game two. It probably happened more like year eight, which is what they're in. They've got a bunch of people that have played a lot of football together. That makes a big difference.''
The discussion of the Patriots' offensive efficiency and Holgorsen's reaction to it, though, did raise an interesting point. The expectations all around West Virginia's program that Holgorsen's offense can be of that ilk are ever present, and it's not just from fans and the media. It's from Holgorsen himself.
After two games in which his Mountaineers have been statistically solid but sometimes artistically incomplete, he addressed the issue of those grand expectations versus reality.
"Do I think we're pressing a little bit offensively? Yes,'' Holgorsen said. "Do I think my expectations are probably bigger than your expectations? Probably so. But our players can't be like that. They need to just understand what their job is, try to get better at it every day and not press.''
Heading into a Saturday afternoon game at Maryland, West Virginia's offense remains a bit of a mystery. There have been slow starts in both games against Marshall and Norfolk State and the running game has been abysmal. Still, the Mountaineers put up 45 points in a half against Norfolk State, scored touchdowns on four of six possessions during a stretch in the Marshall game and sometimes look to be in midseason form.
The numbers don't lie in at least one area.
"The fact of the matter is we've scored on 70 percent of our drives, which is really high,'' Holgorsen said. "We probably won't maintain that throughout the season. The three places I've been the last three years, we never scored on 70 percent of our drives.
"Yes, the expectations are high, and I'm guilty of that as well. And it's our job as coaches to make sure that our players understand that it doesn't matter what the expectations are. It's what we feel like we need to do in this room.''