K-State Shows The Way
The West Virginia Mountaineers are not in Kansas anymore.
(Although next year, they will be. Twice).
Defensive coordinator Joe DeForest, defiant during his postgame interview after Saturday night’s loss to Kansas State, said as much.
”They have to understand, we’re in a different league now,” DeForest said of his players. ”This is a league where everybody’s physical, everybody’s fast.”
With Kansas State in complete control of the Big 12, the WVU coaches needed to look no farther than across the field to show them what it takes to win in this conference.
”That’s the most well-coached team in the league,” DeForest said. ”They do things right, on and off the field. And that shows in their game. It shows in their season. We’ve got to get to a point where we hold our kids accountable both on and off the field so you can trust them on Saturday.”
What he meant is exactly what all of the WVU coaches were saying about K-State in the days leading into the game. The Wildcats don’t have the best players in college football – although in quarterback Collin Klein, they have one of its most unique weapons. They showed West Virginia you don’t necessarily have to.
Kansas State wins because it’s tough. It’s physical. And it might be the most disciplined team in all of college football. The Wildcats play like they’re coached by a 73-year-old man who has seen enough of the BS in his days and demands there is zero of it in his program.
That’s how the Wildcats are able to do things like make their first trip into Milan Puskar Stadium feel like a home game. They weren’t about to be distracted. Kansas State was as focused as they come.
The Mountaineers were not.
The result was a 55-14 beating, the second-worst loss that West Virginia had ever suffered in its current venue.
With two weeks to get it right, the Mountaineers must regain their confidence. They must regain their focus. They must find a way to get off the field on third down.
Until they figure out how to do that, it will be more of the same.
Oklahoma State won its second game in a row after yo-yo-ing its way through the first four and exacted a little revenge on Iowa State, 31-10. Quarterback J.W. Walsh threw for 415 yards and a touchdown and Mike Gundy became the school’s all-time winningest coach.
Texas Tech sent TCU to a second consecutive home loss for the first time in 14 years by beating the Horned Frogs in a three-overtime thriller, 56-53.
Texas rebounded from a two-game losing streak and sent Baylor to its third straight loss, 56-50, as Joe Bergeron ran for five touchdowns. The Bears’ Terrance Williams took another monster step toward a possible Biletnikoff Award with 10 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. That’s 47 catches for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns on the season for that blur we saw at Mountaineer Field a month ago.
Finally, Oklahoma drilled Kansas, 52-7, the Sooners’ third straight victory.
Kansas State stayed at No. 4 in the AP poll, while West Virginia’s free-fall landed at No. 25. Oklahoma moved up from 10 to 8, while, Texas Tech moved from No. 20 to 15.
Texas, TCU and Oklahoma State are receiving votes.
This week’s games
Texas at Kansas
TCU at Oklahoma State
Texas Tech at Kansas State
Baylor at Iowa State
Notre Dame at Oklahoma
The notable game there is Notre Dame and Oklahoma, with the Irish being the lone ranked squad a Big 12 team will have played in its nonconference schedule. It’s also the only one left.
Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com