There was instead a humbling and honest explanation that was probably harder for the Mountaineers to admit than it was to experience. Baylor (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) happens to be very good on offense and continues to lead the nation in total offense and scoring offense.
"I would recommend giving Baylor some credit," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "I've never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like they did. We've been pretty proud of how we've been playing defense around here the last five games. You can't play defense when the line of scrimmage is five yards backward every single time."
The Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2) had been ranked No. 36 in scoring defense and No. 37 in total defense and began the game with two goals: they wanted to stop the run and they had to prevent long pass plays.
Baylor ran for 468 yards, the most against WVU since Maryland had 523 yards in 1951, and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. The total yardage and the average was boosted by Lache Seastrunk's 80-yard touchdown run, when Seastrunk started inside and should have been tackled by linebacker Jared Barber, but zipped outside and raced away from everyone.
The Bears did most of their damage on one simple zone play that WVU ran quite a bit, though with much different results. What the Mountaineers couldn't execute on offense they couldn't stop on defense.
Baylor also had pass plays cover 61, 47, 30, 24, 34 and 42 yards, and four of those were deep routes along a sideline. Those six plays accounted for 238 of Baylor's 396 yards passing.
WVU is now No. 89 in total defense and scoring defense.
Patterson said he tried everything and nothing worked. WVU was handled up front, which led to huge gaps for the running backs and allowed the Mountaineers no easy path to the quarterback. Receivers had ample time to work with defensive backs and get open or get down the field.
"There was no magical call," Patterson said. "We were calling the same things we called the first five weeks of the season."
The outcomes were the difference, but Patterson said different behaviors contributed to the results.
"There were a lot of things that were uncharacteristic from what I've seen all the way from fall camp through the first five games," Patterson said. "Just absolutely uncharacteristic."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.