MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A losing streak the likes of which West Virginia's football program has not seen in 11 years has produced more questions than the Mountaineers have been able to answer.
That is perhaps the biggest problem in a season suddenly gone so very wrong.
Problems have appeared faster than solutions and the issues have accumulated to present obstacles not even a team that was in the top five a month ago could clear. Now it's the Mountaineers asking questions.
"You got some ideas?" Coach Dana Holgorsen said Saturday after a 55-34 loss at Oklahoma State gave WVU the program's first four-game losing streak since 2001. "I'm all ears."
West Virginia (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) is running out of fixes, which is not ideal with No. 13 Oklahoma coming to Mountaineer Field for Saturday's 7 p.m. game. Fox will televise the game as the Sooners (7-2, 5-1) seek to give the Mountaineers their longest losing streak since six straight in 1986.
How did this happen?
"At some times, effort was questioned," said West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey, who was at the very least questioned by his coaches after hurting his left ankle in last month's loss to Texas Tech and then not returning soon enough. "We watch film and see guys slacking, including myself, and that's something we can fix. Effort is something you can't coach. Effort is in the player."
The histrionics are WVU's concern right now. History is not.
After trying different tactics and lineups and spending more than a month trying simply to get a win, the team wonders what happens next.
That's where things are for the Mountaineers, who feel they have tried so many things and seem as surprised as anyone that they haven't worked.
"Sometimes I look at the game from the sideline and see things happen and question it, like, "Come on, man,'" Bailey said. "That's what makes me question effort sometimes.
"Sometimes our demeanor, when I look from the sideline, sometimes I see things and it's just crazy. Some of the plays that have been happening this year have been unbelievable."
Holgorsen was perhaps most offended by the simple errors that cost his team against TCU. Those errors came after two weeks of practice, one of which was devoted to fundamentals. He pointed out WVU dropped nine passes in the game and could offer no explanation. The attention shifted to finding 11 players at a time who valued the opportunity to play and could be trusted to handle the responsibility.