MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Maybe it was Saturday's heat. Perhaps he knocked his noggin in that fender-bender in downtown Morgantown last week.
The most likely explanation might be that third-year West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen would just rather forget the last half of 2012 altogether.
But after his Mountaineers pulled off a come-from-behind 24-17 win over William & Mary at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday, Holgorsen stood behind the podium and commented on his team's 44-to-27 run-pass ratio in the season opener.
The man with more than a few maverick hairs had gone for a simple, conservative comb-over of an offense against the Football Championship Subdivision visitors from Virginia.
"We ran the ball probably more than any time in the history of my coaching career," Holgorsen said in the postgame session with the media, "but I felt like it was the right thing to do."
It seems the black shirt ball coach might have let it slip his mind that he started this offensive play-calling trend late last season.
Holgorsen became the sole offensive coordinator at Texas Tech in 2007. He held the same role at Houston the following two years, then had a one-year stint as the OC at Oklahoma State in 2010 before arriving at WVU.
In that seven-year span, Holgorsen has grown increasingly fond of the run game. WVU's 44 attempts Saturday was the fourth-highest total in the past seven seasons for a Holgorsen offense. Three of those four have come in the past five games.
In fact, at Texas Tech in 2007, Holgorsen's offense passed more than it ran in all 13 games - and it was seldom even close. At Houston in '08 and '09, the Cougars opted for the pass over the run just twice in 27 games. In Holgorsen's quick pitstop at OSU, the Cowboys' offense ran more than it chucked the ball around in three of 13 games.
At WVU? The Mountaineers have favored the run over the pass in nine of 27 games - exactly 1/3 of the time. It happened in four of Holgorsen's first 22 games as a head coach.
Saturday's 44 rushes in 71 plays from scrimmage marked the fifth consecutive game the runs have outnumbered pass attempts for the Mountaineers, perhaps a harbinger of what fans - and opponents - can expect the rest of the 2013 season.
Five games ago - in the midst of a five-game losing streak - Holgorsen started to lean on the run. Not coincidentally, the first game that ushered in the change of philosophy was when Tavon Austin was shifted to the backfield and rushed for a school-record 344 yards against Oklahoma.
In the final four games of the 2012 season, Holgorsen's best offensive player was a running back. Austin has since graduated to the National Football League, but WVU's best offensive skill player this season is, arguably, graduate transfer Charles Sims. He dazzled in his debut Saturday, going for game-high 119 rushing yards on 22 carries.
Sims leads a deep and talented backfield in a time of uncertainty at quarterback. In the past six seasons, Holgorsen's four quarterbacks - Graham Harrell, Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden and Geno Smith - have averaged 4,868 yards per season. Harrell, Keenum and Smith all had previous starting experience before Holgorsen became their sole offensive coordinator, and Weeden was a 27-year-old during Holgorsen's one season at Oklahoma State.