There is, of course, a school of thought that says coaches can put too much pressure on players by talking about how important any single game might be. That's why, to a man, they preach one-game-at-a-time philosophies and eschew the notion that a game against LSU is any more or less important than one against Maryland.
But with no regular-season games remaining after this one, Holgorsen isn't even trying to keep his players on any sort of even keel. Even game preparations are being speeded up and altered, out of necessity - quickened because of a short week and scheduled later in the day because of class schedules. On Monday night, West Virginia wasn't even scheduled to hit the practice field until 9 p.m. because Monday is normally a day off and players have classes scheduled into the evening.
In other words, it's hard to treat this week like any other, so Holgorsen doesn't try.
"It is [different], so we have to prepare like it is,'' he said Monday. "We've got four days here and then we can take a break after that. But right now's no time to take a break. Whatever we did to prepare to beat Cincinnati and whatever we did to prepare to beat Pitt, we've got to do it again and we've got to do it right now.
"We don't have any time to rest or feel good about a victory or say it was too hard and now we need a break. We don't have time for that. The truth of the matter is it does come down to this one game. This is the only game left. Right now this is the only game on the schedule and we'd better give it everything we've got, because this team's going to be remembered by what happens Thursday night.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.