In as condensed and compact a style as possible, Holgorsen dissected what went wrong - and some of what went right - in the loss at Oklahoma State. There was the obvious, the three Mountaineer turnovers that OSU was able to turn into 17 points. There was the pressure from the Cowboys' defensive line which bothered quarterback Skyler Howard. And there was the inability of West Virginia to match routes with the wideouts, at times leaving them exposed to slants and seam routes.
But there were also the other comments, Holgorsen at one point presenting the idea that perhaps WVU isn't "as good as we think we are," and that its fortitude would be tested over the next week. He also addressed the issues for Howard, and how the Mountaineers worried about having to match-up against their pass defense when behind. He noted that OSU has "a thousand different coverages. That's what makes it so difficult. They are a good team. They are going to make plays."
West Virginia actually finished with more yardage (421 to 358) and more plays (80-67), but that never truly mattered with the two short fields OSU had after Howard's fumble and his interception, which hit off the hands of Ka'Raun White before being returned 59 yards to WVU's seven-yard line. The Cowboys punched in from there for a key 27-10 lead, and remained largely unthreatened from there.
Holgorsen said he remained unsure of the status of running back Rushel Shell, who was injured in the first half and did not return. There were also problems with defending in the red zone and the lack of pressure from West Virginia itself. But the game truly came down to one main point in turnovers.
"Two pretty evenly matched teams. They made three plays that flat-out affected the game," Holgorsen said. "They force three turnovers, they took all three of them in the red zone. We basically gave them 17 points and we lose by 17. That's the game. They have great players and coaches. They were better than us today."null