MORGANTOWN - As West Virginia's football team divided up and spent much of Tuesday morning in video study of Oklahoma State, the same notion kept arising no matter what the meeting room.
"One of the things that keeps coming up is that it's like we're looking in a mirror,'' coach Dana Holgorsen said. "What they do offensively, what they do defensively, what they do from a special teams standpoint, there's a lot of crossover from the coaching staffs.''
OK, so that's a given. After all, consider coaching trails. Before installing his version of the Air Raid offense at West Virginia, Holgorsen did exactly that in his one year as offensive coordinator. And given the success he enjoyed during that 2010 season, the Cowboys haven't changed much since he left.
Consider, too, that first-year West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest spent the previous 11 years as the safeties coach at OSU. Not only that, he was in charge of special teams in Stillwater and has influenced those units here, too. There's bound to be a lot of similarities.
Then throw in running backs coach Robert Gillespie (two years at OSU) and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital (one as a graduate assistant) and it's easy to see how the philosophies would be similar.
The question is, how does that affect Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game between the Mountaineers (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) and the Cowboys (5-3, 3-2) at Boone Pickens Stadium? Or does it at all?
Well, it does, but more so in practice this week than in the game on Saturday.
For instance, neither staff is going to have to spend nearly as much time teaching scout teams how to replicate the opposing offense or defense. They are basically the ones they've already been taught to execute.
But the time saved there might well be spent changing some things that are far too familiar to opponents.
Like sideline signals and audibles.