When things went bad for the West Virginia Mountaineers, they went very bad: after streaking out to a 5-0 start behind apparent Heisman candidate Geno Smith, they've lost five straight, going from the No. 5 team in the country to a complete afterthought and a sub-.500 team in conference play.
It's been tough for head coach Dana Holgorsen, whose team has now lost more games consecutively than any West Virginia team since 1986. After offensive turnarounds at Texas Tech, Houston, and Oklahoma State, as well as leading the Mountaineers to a 10-3 record in his first season as head coach, he hasn't experienced something like what has happened to West Virginia in some time. As MIke Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail wrote, it's been frustrating for the coach:
"How many losses like this do we have to go through?" he said.
"There's a difference between playing well and losing and just flat-out being embarrassed," Holgorsen said. "We have a lot to worry about right now, but if we weren't playing with effort, if the kids weren't excited to play, I'd be able to sense that and that would be a serious problem."
West Virginia takes on Iowa State on Friday, hoping to move above .500 and become bowl eligible.