AMES, Iowa — As West Virginia’s first loss of 2018 became inevitable, receiver David Sills roamed the sideline, delivering a message to teammates.
“Moving forward you will definitely see a change in the offense and how we approach things,” he said. “Coming from a senior leader, I can promise that moving forward we will be better.”
Sills highlighted the need for better practices and reflection on all the offseason work the Mountaineers put in, work that could be in vain if they don’t find an answer to all that went wrong during Saturday’s 30-14 loss to Iowa State.
“This is something that started Jan. 1,” he said. “We have to make sure it’s not for nothing.”
Unable to sustain drives, West Virginia ran only 42 offensive plays compared to 72 by the Cyclones.
After Sills caught an 18-yard touchdown win the first quarter, West Virginia’s final eight possessions netted only 57 yards.
The 152-yard overall output was the worst of Dana Holgorsen’s seven-year tenure.
WEST VIRGINIA’s WORST OFFENSIVE YARDAGE OUTPUTS UNDER HOLGORSEN:
|152||Oct. 13, 2018||L, 30-14 to Iowa State||One offensive TD; seven sacks|
|153||Nov. 18, 2017||L, 28-14 to Texas||One offensive TD; Kenny Robinson had pick-six for defense|
|175||Sept. 21, 2013||L, 37-0 to Maryland||Offense had six first downs, six turnovers, four sacks|
|229||Dec. 28, 2016||L, 30-14 to Miami||Skyler Howard had 21 carries, 26 pass attempts|
|243||Oct. 20, 2012||L, 55-14 to Kansas State||One offensive TD Tavon Austin added kick-return TD|
|291||Sept. 4, 2011||W, 34-13 vs. Marshall||Holgorsen’s first coaching debut; Tavon Austin scored on 100-yard kick return|
|295||Dec. 26, 2017||L, 30-14 to Utah||One offensive TD; Chris Chugunov 9-of-28 passing for 129 yards|
No. 13 West Virginia (5-1, 2-1) remains in second place in the Big 12, a half-game ahead of Oklahoma. November brings games in Austin against conference frontrunner Texas and a Black Friday home showdown against the Sooners.
“We’ve got to make sure these kids know that the season’s not over,” said offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. “There’s no finger-pointing going on and we’ve got to keep moving forward. It’s still wide-open.”