Holgorsen pressures the defense, too. No time is to be wasted between a tackle and a snap, which frustrates defenders already frustrated by their inability to get hands on the quarterback.
"It kills you," defensive end Bruce Irvin said. "They snap the ball every nine or 10 seconds and eventually it's real tiring."
Holgorsen's offense at Oklahoma State last season allowed 10 sacks. At Houston in 2008 and '09, quarterbacks were dropped 25 and 18 times.
In 2007-08, when he was the co-coordinator at Texas Tech, there were 18 sacks both seasons. Quarterbacks averaged 660 pass attempts those five seasons and led the country in throws three times.
"We aren't asked to run the ball at all," Smith said. "Our job is to put the ball in the hands of the playmakers."
Smith has that reputation.
McCartney marvels at Smith's ability to find the blitz before the snap and make the right read for a quick throw. Stedman Bailey, another receiver who got to know Smith at Miramar, brags about Smith's presence in the pocket and knack for sensing trouble and hurrying up to get rid of the ball before the defense gets him. Irvin is startled by how fast Smith makes up his mind and lets go of the pass.
"All you see is the snap and him getting rid of the ball," Irvin said. "Geno isn't sitting back looking around and scanning the field. It's three or four steps and it's gone."
The offense is built around those abilities and the most critical construction comes in camp, but the key now is to get Smith and Millard to the regular season without wearing out their arms.
Holgorsen, who said he's never had fewer than five quarterbacks in a camp, said he'd prefer to give his top options between 200 and 300 throws in practice. With fewer throwers, he has to limit throws and trust his quarterbacks are honest about how they feel.
Holgorsen said he isn't able to practice and advance the way he wants to right now, either. Quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital and inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson both played in quarterback college and have filled in to throw in these early practices, but Holgorsen doesn't think that's too productive.
The new WVU head coach even had to step in Saturday. Dawson couldn't lift his arm, but practice had to continue.
"What can I do?" he said. "We don't have anyone else. I can't make someone just appear."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.