After eight weeks and seven games this season, which follow a month of summer practices and 15 practices in the spring, DeForest is running out of options while the problems accumulate.
"It's hard because you want someone to step up and grab the team and say, 'Come on, follow me,'" he said. "We don't have that on defense. Until we do, we'll struggle. It's up to us as coaches to try and find leaders. It's up to the kids to be leaders. You can't always lead as a coach. You've got to have someone from within to pull with you."
WVU is instead sliding in the defensive rankings and has allowed 105 points the past two weeks. In 21 possessions, it's allowed 14 touchdowns and two field goals and forced two punts and two turnovers - with which the offense has done nothing. Kansas State had a field goal to start Saturday's game and then scored touchdowns on the next seven possessions.
The Mountaineers point to their problems getting off of blocks or getting in the way or pass plays. They say they haven't tackled and they haven't covered receivers. They're making life very easy for the opposition. Texas Tech had 72 plays and 30 first downs because it averaged 9.5 yards per play. Kansas State had 62 plays and 24 first downs because it averaged 7.7 yards per play.
On the 14 touchdown drives, only half featured a third down. The Mountaineers faced just 10 third downs against the Red Raiders and nine against the Wildcats. They got five stops in the first and three in the second.
Kansas State's success came against a game plan DeForest said was "as simple as it could be" because so much of the Wildcats offense revolves around running the ball, especially with quarterback Collin Klein. They entered the game running 69 percent of the time, but had 23 runs and 16 passes at halftime.
Klein, the leading Heisman Trophy contender, and more for his legs than for his arm, was 14-for-16 for 226 yards and a touchdown. His two incomplete passed could have been completed. He missed an open receiver deep along the right sideline in the first quarter and then had a receiver stumble coming out of a double move in the second quarter.
On the next play, Kansas State ran the same pattern and Klein hit Miguel Lockett for a 44-yard gain.
Lockett added had 38-, 35-, 28- and 20-yard receptions on his way to 194 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas State had six pass plays cover 20 yards or more a week after Texas Tech had 10 plays of 20 or more yards.
"I'm not going to blame the kids," DeForest said. "It's our job as coaches to find a way to get them to understand it and do it. If that means going out in one front and one coverage, well, then you take your stinger away because you don't have anything to go to. But we're going to play this front and this coverage until we get it right and then we'll move on to the next one."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.