The Mountaineers fresh off a heart breaking loss to Texas Tech will hit the road to take on another Big 12 team. The Mountaineers will go against Kansas State as they search for their first road victory of the year.
Kansas State has an overall record of 2-4. Despite their record, head coach Bill Snyder's team has tremendous discipline, something the Mountaineers have lacked all season.
"I've always looked up to coach Snyder," said WVU's quarterback, Clint Trickett. "I have had so much respect for him my whole life."
Trickett said he was a fan of Kansas State growing up and looks forward to playing against such a highly respected coach in Snyder.
Last season, Kansas State handed the Mountaineers a loss under the lights in Morgantown. The Wildcats had an exceptional team last season but like the Mountaineers, many star players have departed and the team has started to rebuild.
The Mountaineers have faced a lot of high tempo offenses such as Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas Tech. Kansas State differs from these teams. Snyder's Wildcats take their time with the ball and will run the same play time and time again, as long as the Mountaineer's defense gives it to them.
The Wildcat's defense is no different. Snyder has drilled consistency into his players and it's evident on the field. The defensive front for the Wildcats will purpose a problem for the Mountaineer's rushing attack. The Mountaineers have a lot of talent when it comes to the backfield, and they'll have to utilize all of it in order to gain yards on the ground.
"They're good, physical, big guys," said Trickett. "They're a really good at what they do."
What the Wildcats do isn't all that much. The Wildcat's defensive scheme isn't made up of tricky or unique schemes. They are just well coached and simple.
"What they line up as, is what they are," added Trickett.
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson recognizes the simplicity and effectiveness of the Widcats's defense.
"They don't have smoke and mirrors or a lot of disguises. They do about three things," said Dawson. "They're going to line up and hit you right in the mouth. You're going to know where they line up every single time."
Even knowing where they'll be lining up or what kind of defensive scheme they're running all game, doesn't make the Mountaineer's lives any easier. The Mountaineers will still need to execute their game plan and control their defensive line.
"It's hard to move them," Dawson said. "Their interior guys don't move a lot. We've got to be able to sustain blocks and move those guys out of there."
Kansas State may have lost to Baylor 35-25, but they certainly kept Baylor's run game in check. Keeping Baylor's rushing attack in check is a tough task for most teams, but the Wildcats did a sound job at containing the Bear's backfield.
Even if the Mountaineers can't get the running game going due to the solid defensive front of the Wildcats, this could open up the passing game for the Mountaineers.
WVU, against Texas Tech passed for only 254 yards. A team coached by a Dana Holgorsen's offensive mind, is certainly looking to improve on that number.
Both teams are in need of a win come Saturday. The Mountaineers have been the definition of inconsistent all season. They go from looking like an excellent football team to looking very inexperienced.
Kansas State may not have a terrific record, but they are consistent and show a lot of discipline when they play ball. Both team's records don't truly reflect the capability of each team.
It'll be interesting to see how the Mountaineers respond after letting a win versus Texas Tech slip away. On the road, playing a well-coached Kansas State team will be a worthy test for this young West Virginia team.