Holgorsen was on the Texas Tech staff that thought the idea was equal parts silly and sensible. The Red Raiders thought about it and finally did it. They found it worked and they kept doing it. The Mountaineers would like to do it more than they have, provided they have the necessary depth at receiver. Figure Washington State will seek the same circumstances under Holgorsen's old boss, Mike Leach.
The play just exists as something a defense can merely guard and not guard against. The receivers are going to run deep routes, though perhaps cornerbacks can jam them at the line of scrimmage. Say the routes manage to go deep into the secondary a few plays in a row. Maybe the defense can swap in new cornerbacks
"Can't sub," Holgorsen said. "Then teams go tempo."
That's the clever counter the offenses have built into the problematic plan. The receivers try to exhaust the cornerbacks to the point they need a break. When the offense sees the defense seeking relief, the offense decides to hurry up and snap the ball, which makes it impossible to substitute.
"It's a lot easier to tell a receiver to run deep a few times in a row," DeForest said. "It can be a guy who's just a guy and you don't have to throw him the ball. But we have to cover him.
"Say we can roll in new corners and say your second guy falls down. Then it's wide open and it's a touchdown. Defenses don't have the ability to play a second string like the offense. That's why depth is so important now."
With rare exceptions granted for the truly elite defenses, the difference between the starter and his backup is greater on defense than it is on offense. Teams play multiple running backs. They start three or four receivers and play three or four others. Those same teams would sell their goalposts for third and fourth cornerbacks that were as capable as the third and fourth receivers.
Maybe senior Cecil Level and sophomore Avery Williams have significant roles as the likely second-team cornerbacks. Perhaps freshmen Nana Kyeremeh and Ricky Rumph have a duty to join that conversation. The keys remain the starters, senior Pat Miller and junior Brodrick Jenkins, neither who has earned or held a starting spot for an entire season.
Neither has seen what they're about to see.
"It's a tough life as a defensive player in general, but for a cornerback in particular in the Big 12," cornerbacks coach and Texas graduate Daron Roberts said. "People want to throw the ball and they want to wear your secondary players out and take shots down the field.
"You have to be very deep at the cornerback position because it's so hard to run down the field 40 yards two plays in a row and stay in for the third, but your top guys have to be strong physically and mentally to deal with it."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.