Had any of WVU's first three opponents run that type of offensive scheme, those sacks would likely have been there because Irvin and Miller have gotten plenty of near-miss knockdowns.
"We knew going in that Maryland didn't hang onto the ball very [long]. In that first game, they threw about 95 percent of their passes to where the ball was out of the quarterback's hands before the D-line even had a chance to get there if they weren't blocked,'' Holgorsen said. "Maryland does a good job of that. They're a lot like we are on offense.
"When those situations arise where the quarterback has to hang on to it, we just have to do a better job. We feel like we've got a couple of guys who know how to rush the passer. It's just about taking advantage of the opportunities when you get them.''
A year ago in a 20-14 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, West Virginia sacked then-quarterback Jordan Jefferson twice. And Lee is less mobile than Jefferson.
"We have the same defense, the same structure we had last year,'' Miller said. "So the way we feel is why can't we play the same way we played last year? That's what everybody is trying to emphasize. We played well against these guys last year and we can do the same thing this year.''
If West Virginia is able to get to Lee, that would be huge for the Mountaineers. Lee is not a runner, having done that just once this season for a gain of two yards. But he's only been sacked three times.
"The sacks are going to come,'' Miller said.
Until then, Irvin and the rest of the pass rushers are making do.
"It's very frustrating, being a second or a step away from getting them just as they release the ball,'' Irvin said. "It's frustrating, but you just have to keep pushing - keep the motor running and keep driving. They're going to come. And when they come, they're going to keep coming.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734or dphickm...@aol.com.