Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers will have a bye week in between that loss and WVU's final home game of the season against Kansas State next Thursday night. It's plenty of time for the team to try to recollect themselves and move forward.
"I think coaches take losses harder than players do at times. But we do it by just trying to keep the same schedule each and every week, and trying not to focus too much on winning games or trying not to focus too much on losing games," Holgorsen said Monday during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. "It's all about the next day and getting it over with. We met yesterday and we got rid of the game. We've made corrections and we've made adjustments, and then gave them the schedule moving forward and told them the good news is that we get to play some more games in the very near future.”
A big thing the coaches talked about following Saturday's game was the observation that the Mountaineers did not come out ready to play. The West Virginia offense struggled to find ways into the end zone and the defense couldn't find its footing early on, which led to a 24-3 halftime deficit.
Holgorsen admitted it took them a little bit by surprise after the week of practice that West Virginia had. It looked like a team that was excited to go to Austin and try to leave with a win against the Longhorns. Of course, things began to turn around during the second half, but most of the damage had already been done.
"We just didn't have the pop that we had in most of the other games. We challenged them at halftime. We had some of the key leaders stand up and kind of challenge the guys as well. I thought we responded to it," Holgorsen said. "I don't know of a magic formula to be able to know during pregame whether your guys are on par ready to go or not. It looked to me that they had looked the same that they had during the previous nine games. So, I don't know.”
To bounce back from the loss, WVU will have yet another difficult challenge against a talented Kansas State team that just lost to TCU last week.
The Wildcats will enter the game as one of the league's more consistent teams, excelling in every phase of the game under veteran head coach Bill Snyder. It will be WVU's first Thursday night game since entering the Big 12 Conference and the first one since West Virginia beat South Florida on the road to clinch a share of the 2011 Big East Conference title and a trip to the Orange Bowl in Holgorsen's first season.
Holgorsen was happy that the two teams have a bye week between games, allowing WVU to have a full week to prepare ahead of the short week before the Thursday game.
"That allows you to be able to get your guys to regroup and get your guys healed up a little bit and not have to deal with the short week. So we can use this week and we can start preparing for Kansas State," Holgorsen said. "We can still get out and do a little bit of recruiting. We can give our guys a little bit more time off than they normally get, especially this time of the year - and you need to be able to do that.
"We've been going hard at it for six straight weeks and been in some very, very close, tight ball games for six straight weeks. It gives us a little bit of a breather and not have to rush to get prepared for a Thursday night game. Those Thursday night games are exciting. You've got everybody in the country watching you and the players get excited about it.”