MORGANTOWN - Dana Holgorsen put some of the blame for Saturday's loss at Texas Tech on his shoulders during Tuesday's weekly press conference, but said the players also have to realize just how much of a grind the Big 12 can be.
Holgorsen said not enough of the West Virginia football team bought into the idea that an unranked Texas Tech team could compete with the undefeated Mountaineers.
"That was 100 percent my fault and my responsibility to make sure that they did that," he said, "and they didn't."
Holgorsen said in dealing with 18 to 22 year-old kids, there will be times when their minds are not focused on the task at hand. He said every college football team in America goes through times like this.
"It happens at some point, and you have to fix it," he said. "It could happen in a bowl game. It is our job as coaches to figure out if their mindset is not where we want it to be, change it and fix it. We failed last week."
The coach said his team practiced "with a sense of urgency" Sunday, and he believes the message of the Big 12 grind has sunk in. He said if it hasn't, then Saturday's 7 p.m., nationally televised game with Kansas State will not be pretty.
"I had a lot of guys that wanted it to be easy because we just went through two hard games against Baylor and Texas," Holgorsen said. "We won close games and a couple of shootouts, and a whole bunch of people on that airplane wanted it to be easy. That's not the reality in the Big 12. That's not the reality in college football."
Holgorsen said the players were given a good dose of reality during Sunday's meetings, and the message was not sugar-coated.
"We are a good football team, but we haven't had to deal with (a loss) in a long time," he said. "It's been almost a year since we've had to deal with this, and we've won a lot of games in the meantime."
Holgorsen said the team needs to get back to doing the things it had been doing when it was successful.
"Our job as coaches is to get back to what made us win all those games," he said. "That is working hard, playing with a tremendous amount of effort and being disciplined, being smart, playing hard, playing fast and playing physical. We have our hands full this week."