The Mountaineers had some healthy gains against the Sooners, and the Sooners made some good plays to disrupt the blocking and spoil the plan. There were also a few outcomes that left WVU bewildered, including one pass to receiver Ivan McCartney that forced him to jump on the run in a crowd.
The ball slipped through his fingers, but the Mountaineers believe an accurate throw could have triggered a touchdown. They called it again later, and though WVU didn't score, the play did move the ball.
"We were close on a few where the throw or the blocking was just a little bit off," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. "There were some situations where the defense rushed hard and there were certain situations where the defensive line played read-and-react.
"It's a guessing game really. A couple of them were good and a couple of them they got redirected and stopped it. It's a guessing game for when they're going to rush and when they're not going to rush."
WVU should be used to the rush and how to handle it now. Holgorsen was upset with the way the Mountaineers dealt with Georgia State's blitzes last week, in particular the zero blitzes - plays when the Panthers blitzed everyone except the players left covering receivers one-on-one.
"They probably did it six times to us," Holgorsen said. "They got us twice, they hit us twice and we did the right thing twice. That's not good enough. Maryland did that against us last year. They will zero blitz us. They will pressure us. I'm not so sure they won't come out and do it on every snap. If they do, we've got to be able to handle it."
The Mountaineers know no better way to discourage a determined defense than with screen passes. Deep balls, some off of play-action fakes, can tame an attacking defense, but they're risky. The route, or the route and the fake, requires more time. The quarterback can be pressured and make a bad decision or get hit and lose the football.
Even if it's one-on-one coverage, the receiver still has to beat a cornerback and then catch the ball, which isn't a guaranteed event with WVU this season.
Screen passes are different.
"They're safe," Holgorsen said.
They're quick, short throws - or long handoffs - and it's also easy for a quarterback to make a good decision and trash a play with a throw at a target's feet to avoid danger.
Yet they're tricky, too, because there's so much involved. Rocket screens go to a running back floating out into the flat and trying to hide behind linemen who are lumbering to the side. Tunnel screens go to a wide receiver who's running into traffic as he cuts toward the middle of the field.
"It's going to look different every single time," Holgorsen said. "We have our play, but they have their play. That's why if it doesn't work, you should do it again. You might get the right play the next time."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.