WVU has real trouble getting to opposing quarterbacks. Bruce Irvin, the one-trick pony pass rusher who was supposed to star this season, rarely has been a factor. The Mountaineer defense has lost the battle up front in both of its losses, and in significant fashion.
Holgorsen was asked whether the Mountaineers grasp that they were beaten by Syracuse not because the Orange has more talent - it doesn't - but because of other intangibles.
"You tell them exactly what happened, which is why you coach and that's what we did," Holgorsen said. "We showed them exactly what happened. It doesn't take kids very long to figure it out as far as what's on tape.
"You look at what's on tape and you see yourself get outplayed by your opponent, and it typically motivates you. We're not going to change how we do anything around here. We have a weekly schedule that we're going to abide by, and we're going to do everything we possibly can to get them motivated to play on Saturday afternoon."
In one fashion, Syracuse didn't do anything differently than it did last October at Mountaineer Field, when the Orange stopped an eight-game losing streak in a series in which they had been winning two out of three before then.
As SU offensive tackle Justin Pugh boiled it down: "We took a look at the LSU film and (the Tigers) kind of punched them in the mouth. They had the kind of mentality we had last year. We just wanted to go out there and make sure we were physical up front."
West Virginia needs to forget how it got to 5-2 and figure out how it can get to 10-2.
"You don't want to think it, but maybe we needed this to happen," WVU senior defensive lineman Julian Miller said after the lopsided loss. "We can't keep playing the way we have been and expect to get through the rest of the season, especially on the defensive side ... We have to learn from this loss."
WVU needs to work on its run game, and work against the run game.
Since 2005, when Big East football reconstituted with Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida, West Virginia is 33-11 in league play, or six games better than the next best (Cincinnati 27-17).
The Mountaineers have gotten there because they've had better speed, better talent, better tradition ... but something else.
WVU has prospered because it's often been tougher than a $2 steak.
If West Virginia wants 2011 to be a filet mignon kind of season, it needs to play with more gristle.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.