The Mountaineers threw a season-high 51 passes against the Cowboys and 41 more against the Bears. That matched the second-highest total and it would have been higher if not for a season-high four sacks.
"Teams are stacking the box and making us throw the ball down the field," Dawson said. "The better we can do that, the better we can run it, no doubt, but at some point, we've got to back it up."
Baylor played a very ordinary defense against the Mountaineers, just quarters coverage with defensive backs patrolling their quadrant on the field. It's the very thing that WVU used last season that contributed to so many of its defensive deficiencies.
In their 4-2-5 alignment, the Bears would move one safety or both safeties up just before or immediately after the snap to add bodies to the box. That would prevent WVU from enjoying numerical advantages, which helped Baylor stop the run, but the crowd also shrunk the spaces where WVU would run short routes and attempt quick passes.
The Mountaineers knew it was coming and thought the counter was to throw the ball deep, which they did often and often without results.
"We had a lot of good throws and good looks at it, but we're not equipped to be able to make those throws and catches efficiently at this point in time," Holgorsen said.
It wasn't asking a lot of the receivers. A year ago, Baylor played the same defense and WVU passed for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
On Saturday, the Mountaineers pushed the ball down the field again and again and rarely did it work during the time they had a legitimate opportunity to hang around with Baylor. The throws weren't always perfect and the receivers couldn't always get open, which are both issues, but the receivers also let some plays go and complained about others.
"A lot of the plays we should have come up with, but we felt like as an offense, they were holding us and we didn't get as many penalties as we should have," said Kevin White, who had seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. "But you've got to come away with the play regardless."
It was a bad look for the Mountaineers, who kept throwing the ball deep because they had to keep throwing the ball deep. Baylor unplugged WVU's running game. Charles Sims and Dreamius Smith had seven carries for 9 yards in the first quarter and seven for 24 in the second quarter.
By air or by ground, the Mountaineers gave the Bears no incentive to change their plan, which is something that won't escape future opponents.
"If we're consistently a big threat down the field, that's going to back the safeties up and expand things more for Charles and Dreamius," White said. "As receivers, we've got to get a lot better and a lot more consistent as playmakers."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.