"There were a lot of times it didn't matter who was back there," Holgorsen said. "We could have had Peyton Manning back there, and if you're not able to get yards in the run game, or set your feet. He didn't have a chance.
"I'll look at it a little bit closer to see how he did."
Dawson was asked specifically about Florida State transfer Clint Trickett, who has been in on just six plays this season.
"The deal right now is this doesn't fall on one person," Dawson said. "We've got to get better on offense. We've been dumping reps on Ford. We've decided he's our guy."
Later, though, Dawson said he'd "watch film and evaluate" his QB.
We'll see about that. WVU desperately needs a spark. But there are other areas of concern. Holgorsen and Dawson both pointed to the poor play of their offensive line. The head coach called the line's play "incredibly poor." That has to be disappointing after athletic director Oliver Luck went out and hired away Stanford assistant Ron Crook.
What has to be most disappointing to Luck, though, is the dropoff in production from Holgorsen, who is being paid over $2 million per year.
As it stands, WVU's situation looks as difficult to turn around as an 18-wheeler.
"I don't know what we need to do to fix it," said the coach. "It's 100 percent on me. Maybe we need to change how we practice. Maybe it was something schematically they did - but I doubt it."
Whatever the case, Holgorsen needs to figure it out quick. The offense can't go through stretches - as it did Saturday - of six straight 3-and-outs or less.
Because of injuries, Maryland had just two reliable cornerbacks on Saturday. It was a golden opportunity to wear them out. WVU could have accomplished that, as well as help its defense.
Yet Childress was ineffective. The receiving corps didn't step up. (Only one wideout, Ronald Carswell, had a catch. Not kidding.) On defense, the WVU pass defense that went into the game ranked eighth nationally proved to be a mirage.
Mountaineer defensive lineman Shaq Rowell summed it up.
"We lost on all three sides of the ball," he said. "Offense, defense and special teams."
And on Saturday, the opponent wasn't Nebraska.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.