Yet positivity was something WVU spent a lot of time on in practice this week.
"What I told the offensive coaches is that we need to coach assertiveness and a play-the-next-play mentality," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. "There are too many times practice gets stopped to correct something - a correction for this or because the scout team didn't get lined up right. Well, why are we filming practice? We're filming practice to review mistakes. We practice to get reps at a fast pace."
The Mountaineers have already started Paul Millard and Ford Childress at quarterback and Clint Trickett will get his first start on Saturday. Tyler Orlosky started the first two games at center, lost his starting spot to Pat Eger for the fourth and started again against Maryland.
WVU's three starting receivers are all different than the ones who started the season. One of the new starters, Kevin White, was benched during the Georgia State game for drops. Running back Dreamius Smith had a 75-yard touchdown against Oklahoma, but struggled with blocking and carried once the rest of the game. The Mountaineers have also used three different punt returners.
Holgorsen said he thought his players were too tight, and Dawson agreed. He wondered not only if that came from practice, but if it was also linked to the offense's inability to play with its desired tempo.
"As coaches, you want to strive for perfection, but there's a fine line between striving for perfection by correcting mistakes and just being unrealistic," he said. "It's a fine line. You want perfection, but you don't want to reach a point where every time a kid messes up it's, 'Oh, doggone,' because now they're playing timid and they're scared to make mistakes.
"It's a fine line and I don't know if we're crossing it or not. I'm just saying there's a reason we're not playing fast enough and it's probably our fault more than theirs, so let's fix some of the things we're doing."
The Mountaineers script their practices, so they don't lose reps when they stop to fix something and they don't earn extra reps if they have fewer pauses. If practice isn't stopped as frequently, then the players get in a habit of moving quickly from one play to the next and that's behavior coaches want to develop.
Whether because of an inexperienced quarterback, communication concerns against Oklahoma or three-and-outs against Maryland, WVU hasn't played fast often this season.
"Practice shouldn't be different than the game," Dawson said. "It really shouldn't be interrupted. Let them play, let them make mistakes and let them line up again."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.