"We'll have a whole bunch of receivers competing their butts off all summer, all camp and we'll have guys step up and make plays and those guys may not be here yet," Holgorsen said. "We have four guys coming in who, in my opinion, are pretty good playmakers.
"When we add guys to the mix, there's going to be a whole bunch of competition. Some guys embrace competition and sometimes it takes a bunch of competition for somebody to emerge."
The defense may have succeeded because of some timing and experience problems from the quarterbacks. There was further help from how the receivers didn't stretch the field vertically with outside receivers or from side to side with the inside receivers. Yet that defense is replacing and searching for playmakers, too.
WVU only had 23 sacks last season and 101/2 belonged to graduated linebackers Terence Garvin and Josh Francis.
"If the pressure didn't come from Josh or Terence, we didn't get pressure," new defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "The nature of our scheme now is making us more well-rounded."
Ten Mountaineers combined for 11 tackles for a loss Saturday. Five players combined for six sacks, which, for what it's worth, is more than WVU had in any game last season. Of the five players, only starting nose guard Shaq Rowell played much, if at all, in 2012, and Rowell didn't have a sack last season.
"What guy can make a big tackle?" Patterson said. "What guy can impact the quarterback? It might not even be sacking the quarterback. It might just be getting in the quarterback's face and forcing a throw to come up short or making him throw the ball away. Those things don't show up. I think so far through the spring it's someone different every day. That's what I love about the defense. It's not just one guy."
Just like on offense, the defense figures to get help from players who didn't play Saturday. Linebacker Isaiah Bruce, who was second on the team in tackles last season, sat out injured. Patterson said a handful of freshmen could earn a spot on the line, at linebacker or at safety, but that junior college transfers d'Vante Henry, Brandon Golson and Dontrill Heyman will be asked to help as outside pass rushers.
"Hopefully, you're not relying on too many freshmen to make an impact, but the junior college transfers we brought in have a chance to come in and make a tremendous impact," Patterson said. "With their size and their length at the position, we need them on the edge of the defense to be a tremendous asset for us."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.