MORGANTOWN - The defense stinks. The offense is stuck in neutral.
Every game from here on out is a must-win or No. 25 West Virginia will likely fall short of its preseason goal of going to a BCS bowl.
A two-game losing streak is on hold temporarily as the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) use a bye week to pay closer attention to their many problems.
"Nobody's pointing fingers anywhere,'' coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday. "We all understand that we have to continue to as coaches put them in position to be successful, teach them how their technique is, teach them how they make the plays, build confidence in them to where they can do it, and then get out there and work hard on it.''
West Virginia went 1-2 in October, the first time since 2001 that the Mountaineers had a losing record in the month.
Their uncharacteristic losing ways have some players wanting to face an opponent right away.
That includes wide receiver Tavon Austin, who scored West Virginia's only two touchdowns in last week's blowout loss to No. 4 Kansas State. The nation's all-purpose yards leader from last season is averaging 203 yards a game, second to Kent State's Dri Archer.
"The bye probably would be good for us right now,'' Austin said. "But at the same time we can beat up on each other in practice all day. But if we go against somebody else [and don't play well], then what's the point of the bye week?
"I want to get it on now. I don't want to wait anymore.''
Ditto for offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who doesn't believe an entire season hinges on a few losses.
"It's like everything in life,'' Dawson said. "There's going to be good days and bad days. So we have to stay positive and just keep forging ahead. That's the only way you work yourself out of a rut, in my opinion.''
The focus of this week's patch-up efforts starts with a young defense, which has been forced to use numerous freshmen and sophomores.
In addition to allowing the most passing yards of any FBS team, the Mountaineers have three total sacks and made one interception over their last three games. The unit has done a respectable job against the run but must do better in other areas.
Defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said that includes "creating turnovers, three-and-outs, tackling. When we get them in a passing situation, we've got to make sure we get off the field.''