Well, the Mountaineers have survived the non-conference schedule after a nail biting victory over BYU last Saturday. The Mountaineers have now focused their attention on a very familiar foe, the Kansas State Wildcats and the return of Big 12 conference play. The Mountaineers play host to Bill Snyder and his Wildcats this coming Saturday, a 3:30 game full of Homecoming festivities and the annual Stripe the Stadium. It has the makings of a beautiful fall Saturday in Morgantown.
When West Virginia faces off against Kansas State, Mountaineer fans get nervous. The Mountaineers are 0-4 versus the Wildcats and while the Wildcats are currently 2-1 for the season, there is still plenty of room for trepidation. The wizard that is Coach Bill Snyder makes things happen when he travels to Morgantown, and as one of the two remaining unbeaten Big 12 teams, this means cause for concern.
In years past, Coach Snyder and his team have had no problem shutting down the Mountaineers. Now however, it seems as if the teams may be in opposite positions. The Wildcats are coming off of a 35-0 shutout victory called at halftime due to weather, and our Mountaineers are coming off a big win over BYU last Saturday.
In their last match-ups, the Wildcats wins have become increasingly closer, with last year’s win over West Virginia by just one point; 24-23. Saying that, the Mountaineers are a favorite going into the Big 12 opener. As the game gets closer, it is likely the margin of favor will becoming increasingly smaller.
Currently, the Wildcats have a defense that could pose a challenge to Skyler Howard and his offense. The Wildcats defense leads the nation in total defense, allowing just 179 yards per game. While the team is 2-1, this defense continues to be ready to play. This defense will be a challenge for the Mountaineers, as the Mountaineers are one of 22 remaining teams to still average 500 yards offensively this season, and quite obviously look to remain one of those teams. With the Mountaineers and the Wildcats both having such strong defenses, this Big 12 match-up could easily wind up as the match-up of who has the best defense?
West Virginia will look to stop this unfortunate streak of losing four years in a row to the Wildcats, since joining the Big 12. The Mountaineers will need to bring a fast paced game from the start of play, not slowing down, while trying to run down this number one defense. Coach Snyder always has some type of magic up his sleeve, and this seems to be especially prevalent when the Wildcats line up against the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers look to continue to capitalize on their 3-0 start to the season, as it will surely make a statement going into Big 12 play. The Mountaineers now have two quality wins over Missouri and BYU, as well as the Youngstown State victory, with their wins stating that the team is ready to compete with the familiar foes of the Big 12 as October comes around with another packed conference schedule.