WVU's head coach talks about his team's second straight conference loss

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - After a slow start cost the Mountaineers last week against Oklahoma, the same issues plagued WVU this week as No. 21 Oklahoma State came out of Morgantown with an overtime win.

The Mountaineer offense was shut out in the first half, and head coach Dana Holgorsen said his team appeared like it wasn't ready to play in the early going. Holgorsen shouldered the blame for the lack of preparation, and said his team has to find a way to put together four consecutive quarters of consistent effort to win in the Big 12.

For the second straight game, WVU shot itself in the foot with untimely turnovers that led to points for its opponent. The Mountaineers put the ball on the turf three times, and Skyler Howard threw an interception which gave the Cowboys prime field position and scoring opportunities. Holgorsen said he and his staff are always preaching ball security and working on it in practice, and his team has to do a better job of translating that to results on the field.

Despite being hampered by an ankle injury that Dana Holgorsen said put his status in doubt all the way up to kickoff, Wendell Smallwood recorded his third-straight 100 yard rushing game Saturday. Holgorsen said he went to Rushel Shell in overtime partly because Shell was "ready to go", and that he is still trying to feature both running backs as evenly as possible this season.

Although its offense was doing it no favors tonight, West Virginia's defense held its own, even when backed up in awful field position. Holgorsen said the defense stepped up against Oklahoma State during regulation, but was devastated that it couldn't keep that going in overtime.

Oklahoma State was almost daring West Virginia to pass for much of the game tonight, betting on the run and stacking the box with eight and nine players at a time. Holgorsen said the passing game must improve if his offense can hope to find the balance that spurred it to high flying performances early in the season, or else this could be a trend that continues week to week.

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