West Virginia's offensive production was something of a mixed bag in the 11th consecutive win over the Herd. The offense accounted for 27 points in just over three quarters of action and converted seven of 14 third down chances, but it also averaged a meager 1.6 yards per rush and failed to convert a fourth-and-inches chance into a new set of downs.
"The offense had eight drives scored on five," Holgorsen said. "It think there's a lot of people across the country that would take that. The only thing I was really disappointed in was not converting on 4th and short. Taking a 21-point lead into the 4th quarter – I felt pretty good about where we were."
Holgorsen credited Marshall's defensive scheme with causing those problems West Virginia did encounter.
"The offensive line was just o.k., but it was not bad," he said. "Give Marshall credit for what they did schematically. They played with a lot of energy and effort we knew we were going to get their best and we got it Some things broke down, some of that first game stuff where you don't know what to expect. But I felt like if we have had another quarter we would have been able to do more things."
Some of those things would have resulted from adjustments Holgorsen and his staff were making in response to Marshall's defensive scheme, which sold out to stop the run and dropped other defenders deep to prevent big plays. The Herd executed that quite well, holding West Virginia's running game in check and yielding just two completions longer than 20 yards. Still, the first-year head coach wasn't upset with his team's offensive performance.
"I think we are paying attention to the wrong things," Holgorsen said of one line of questioning about the offense. "Marshall did some good things, and it took us some time to figure them out. That did things to take away the run."
Holgorsen's mostly positive reviews also extended to special teams and defense.
"Defensively, I saw us doing well. We gave up two drives but only gave up six points," he said of his Jeff Casteel's squad. "We did give up the punt return, but that was a coverage issue, and we'll get that corrected."
As far as fixing the issues on offense, Holgorsen had a simple solution.
"We need to focus on making routine plays," he explained. "We didn't do a great job of taking what they were giving us. I think we were trying too hard to make big plays. We had way too many negative plays, and for that you have to give Marshall credit again. We just need to relax and make routine plays."
"He took a good shot that welcomed him to college football," Holgorsen said of Buie. "We had a receiver breakdown and his guy shot through gap and blew him up. "We thought it was a collarbone [injury] but it was not. He'll be evaluated today.
Also on the evaluation list is Johnson, who sustained a knee injury and did not dress for the game.
"Both of them are day-to-day," Holgorsen said.
"I watched all eight teams when they were on TV and I was impressed. From the outside looking in, the thing you knew was that everyone was pretty good, and periodically you'd have a great team that made runs. It was mostly about parity, but with Big East going 8-0 that says something about the parity of the conference.