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October 22, 2013
West Virginia (3-4, 1-3) will travel to Kansas State (2-4, 0-3) in a meeting that will showcase two teams that are very different than the ones that played in this game a season ago.
Last season, the No. 13 ranked Mountaineers played host to the No. 4 and undefeated Wildcats in a matchup that was controlled by Kansas State from start to finish. And although there are plenty of changes to the Kansas State roster and the team is currently in a different place than the one it found itself in a season ago against the Mountaineers, many of the same things hold true about the program.
"It starts with Bill Snyder and the job he has done as a head coach and the program he has built over his 22 years there," head coach Dana Holgorsen said.
The Wildcats record is somewhat deceiving through the first half of the season due to the fact that they have lost close games to Texas and Oklahoma State on the road, while battling Baylor to the wire in Manhattan two weekends ago, Holgorsen said. Like all Kansas State teams this one plays with discipline and tremendous effort, but is still finding itself on both sides of the ball.
Kansas State will use two quarterbacks with Daniel Sams and Jake Waters both receiving snaps throughout the season, although in the most recent game it was Sams that has taken the majority of the snaps. Unlike West Virginia, who has also seen a rotating door at quarterback, the offense takes on a much different look depending who is under center with Waters serving as the passing option, while Sams is a dynamic threat in the run game.
"Looks like they are settling in on Daniel Sams a little bit. They are two different guys and they do different things in their scheme," he said. "We'll have to prepare for both."
Although no report has been given, Holgorsen expects that both of KState's wide receiver options in Tyler Lockett and Tremaine Thompson will return for this game after missing the matchup with Baylor due to injuries. Meaning that West Virginia must be prepared to see a variety of things on offense when the Wildcats have the football.
Defensively, the unit looks very much like the one from a season ago on film, which was one of the best in the Big 12 Conference, but much like the offense they are still finding their way after replacing so many seniors from a season ago.
Finally from a special teams standpoint, the West Virginia head coach called this weekend the biggest challenge of the year because the Wildcats show no weaknesses in that phase of the game meaning that the Mountaineers will be battling to break even in that aspect, Holgorsen said.
Holgorsen has not yet spoken to the team about trying to get three more wins to reach a bowl game, instead keeping the focus on trying to get the fourth win of the season this weekend. The head man does believe that both Kansas State and West Virginia are better teams than their current records indicate.
"We have to bounce back and move forward," he said.
Holgorsen said that both Pat Eger and Quinton Spain will be fine this week after both left the game against Texas Tech Saturday.
The head coach was impressed with the play of the offensive line saying it improved, as well as the third down conversions offensively.
On kickoff returns, Holgorsen said that because Texas Tech were attempting to pin West Virginia, the Mountaineers return men tried to fan back to the field to spring a big play but because of poor blocking were tackled deep in their own territory.
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