"The holding calls are just bad technique,'' Holgorsen said. "There's not a difference between having bad technique and getting beat - it's the same thing. It's technique. If you're getting whipped, then your only chance is to play with 100 percent proper technique. We were getting whipped, and we lost our technique.''
Perhaps most disturbing were delay of game penalties. One was called on a punt and another was avoided by a timeout before a punt. That has very little to do with technique or even with the players on the field.
"The delay of game penalties are a lack of communication. I take responsibility for that,'' Holgorsen said. "It's just communication on the sidelines. I thought we had done a pretty good job with that this year.''
Holgorsen tried to explain the issues involved with special teams from a coaching standpoint - coaches on the sidelines and those in the press box trying to stay on the same page. But in the end, those are just logistical matters, the kind that are is the responsibility of the head coach to address.
Holgorsen admitted as much.
"You have to have an understanding of who's coaching what and who's making decisions. That's where the lack of communication comes from,'' Holgorsen said. "Coach [Steve] Dunlap [who is in charge of the punt team] is upstairs and we've got to rely on people on the field to get it communicated. You also have to rely on Coach [Daron] Roberts, who's talking to him, and at the same time talking to me, trying to figure out what the decision is. Sometimes we try to make a decision, get them out there, and we're too late.
"That's 100 percent on me. We'll make sure that we get that tightened up. There have been a couple of times that we've done it on purpose. You don't want to rush out there and make a bad decision. You don't want to rush it to the point that you don't execute it properly. Some of it's making decisions, some of it's communication, some of it's our headset not being on at the right time, or the button not being pushed properly. There are all kinds of dynamics. I'm not searching for excuses, and I'm actually kind of upset with myself for talking about them. Ultimately, it's on me, and we'll get it fixed.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.