A year ago, he was the co-coordinator, but one who delegated to Joe DeForest, who was demoted at the end of the season and later reassigned to coordinate the special teams. Patterson's about as eager as a prevent defense to take credit for what he's so far done to the Mountaineers. He's always excited to highlight the way his players play and he's consistently careful to make sure no one thinks it's because of him.
"I can tell you this: It's the way I was raised," said Patterson, a native of Marlow, Okla., who earned four letters as a defensive back playing college football in his home state at East Central. "I led my high school team in rushing, touchdowns, interceptions, tackles, all that stuff. I punted. I returned punts.
"When the time came, I wasn't nominated for all-state by my own high school coach. And you know what? It didn't bother me. I played the game for all the right reasons. I was, I don't know, a team player to the fullest extent. I've never been a guy who has to have the credit."
Patterson nevertheless has an opportunity to escape more praise or accept more criticism Saturday. WVU (3-2, 1-2 Big 12) plays host to No. 16 Texas Tech (6-0, 3-0) at noon at Mountaineer Field. The Homecoming game will be televised by Fox Sports 1.
The Red Raiders are led by first-year Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played quarterback for Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen when they were at Texas Tech. They rank No. 13 in scoring offense, No. 3 in passing offense and No. 6 in total offense.
And they are precisely the reason Holgorsen hired Patterson. Holgorsen knew Patterson from his work at Tulsa when Holgorsen was an assistant at Texas Tech, Houston and Oklahoma State. When Jeff Casteel left WVU after the 2011 season to rejoin Rich Rodriguez as Arizona's defensive coordinator, Holgorsen desperately wanted someone who understood how to stop the offenses WVU was about to encounter on a regular basis in the Big 12.
He pried Patterson away from Arkansas State, where he'd just been named the defensive coordinator.
"Defensive is a mentality," Patterson said. "Where most people react to what they see, I try to attack what I see. Instead of reacting, I try to attack what I see instead of adjusting to it. A lot of coaches spend a whole lot of time sitting around making adjustments. I want to spend my time making them adjust to what I do."
It's a logical tactic and one he picked up in his year as Pitt's defensive coordinator. In 2011, his Panthers held Holgorsen's first WVU team to a season-low 21 points - or the same as LSU - and flaunted some of the tips he'd picked up from sharing the football facility with Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
"When I was meeting with him, he said, 'Keith, give those offensive guys something to work on,' " Patterson said. "That kind of instilled in me that sometimes as coaches we say, 'Gosh, if they do this, we've got to adjust like this.' Well, what if we give them this and make them adjust like that? I think there's a big difference."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.