WVU hasn't been effective running the ball, as Holgorsen hoped at the start of the season, or passing the ball. He said the Mountaineers are improved in some areas, but he admitted they don't yet know "who we are, where we're at and where we're going."
Without an identity, WVU is left without strengths to use in order to pick on an opponent's weaknesses. The Mountaineers have tried, whether it was to run the ball at a Maryland defense that expanded to help its cornerbacks or to pass against a Baylor defense that was going to load up to stop the run, but haven't succeeded.
"We try to attack, and we will try again," Holgorsen said. "We are going to try and put ourselves in the best situation we possibly can. If it doesn't work, we need to do it again, and again and again until it works out. You can't use a magic wand or put some sort of a spell over them to make that stuff work. You just have to play. You need reps, time and practice."
That would be especially true on the offensive line, where Spain is new at left guard, Nick Kindler has started two games at left tackle and Pat Eger has started three times at center. The linemen are in their first season under Ron Crook, who is emphasizing a more physical, straight-ahead style that the Mountaineers still aren't used to.
"We're not good enough," Holgorsen said. "There have been a lot of things targeted properly where our pad level's been good and we're coming off and doing some good things. We're improving on that. Is it a winning formula at this point? It's hard to be good at just lining up running the ball at people.
"If you want to compare it to a winning effort, look at what Baylor did. What they did was come off the ball and establish the line of scrimmage five yards down the field. What we did was OK, but it wasn't a dominating performance."
Baylor ran the ball at will and with ease because its offensive line bullied WVU's defensive line and linebackers. That was only one item on a list of problems for a defense that hadn't been made to look as bad this season as it did against the Bears.
The early deficit evoked memories of last season, but it also invited some of the same mistakes that Holgorsen wants to make disappear before another test against the Red Raiders. First-year Coach Kliff Kingsbury has Texas Tech ranked No. 13 in total offense, No. 3 in passing offense and No. 19 in scoring offense.
"We reverted back to a lot of the stuff that happened last year," Holgorsen said. "When we got down 21-7 and we knew the environment we were in, our guys hit the panic button, defensively specifically. They lost some of the discipline that we've been teaching for eight months, which was discouraging to see."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.