"They understood the competition going into the season and it hasn't been any different. When you're closer in competition it's going to be six-to-eight plays that are the difference in the ballgame and that's held up pretty far."
TCU has lost three of its last four - all in league play - and surrendered 156 points in five Big 12 games. In seven Mountain West games last season, the stingy Horned Frogs defense gave up a mere 116 points. If the pace holds, they'll double that in conference play this season.
TCU hasn't lost three consecutive games since 1998, which was when Dennis Franchione headed the program and the team competed in the WAC.
Patterson won or shared five conference crowns in 11 seasons before realignment brought his program to the Big 12.
Now his Horned Frogs need to knock off a ranked team the final four weeks to simply achieve bowl eligibility.
"We knew the competition level and the margin of error would be a lot smaller week-to-week than what we played in the past," Patterson said, "and I think our kids are learning that."
TCU went undefeated in the Mountain West in 2009, '10 and '11, and had a 25-game conference win streak snapped against Iowa State last month.
Holgorsen doesn't recall the last time the program lost consecutive games because he hadn't brought his Air Raid offense to Morgantown when it happened in 2010 under Bill Stewart's watch.
Of course, those defeats were by scores of 19-14 (Syracuse) and 16-13 (Connecticut).
WVU's two Big 12 losses have been by an average of 38 points.
The four-game introduction to the Big 12 has included a 63-point performance by visiting Baylor, a Milan Puskar Stadium record. Kansas State scored the largest win by a WVU opponent - 41 points - in Morgantown in 52 years.
A fourth quarter touchdown by the Mountaineers managed to keep it from being the most lopsided WVU game in Morgantown since 1891, which is 98 years before a certain boy band chart-topping song debuted.
The new kids are hangin' tough, but their arrival in the Big 12 has been a rude welcome.