The Mountaineers traveled to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. The Mountaineers came into this game looking for their first road victory of the season but wouldn't find it.
"I thought we were ready to play," said head coach Dana Holgorsen. Evidently that wasn't the case for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers started the game with the ball. Clint Trickett and company came out looking to start the game fast but only amounted three yards on the ground with Charles Sims. Sim would be the leading rusher with eight carries for 43-yards. As a team the Mountaineers would amass 103 total rushing yards. The Mountaineers were forced to go three and out on their first series. The Mountaineer's defense stepped right up and forced a turnover on the Wildcat's first series of the game. A fumble was forced by Karl Joseph and recovered by Ishmael Banks.
The Mountaineer's offense went to work, Trickett found Ronald Carswell to pick up their first, first down of the game. Carswell would finish the day as the leading receiver with 3 catches for 65-yards. That was all the Mountaineers could muscle up. Trickett appeared to have picked up another first to keep the drive alive but the ball was spotted were he began his slide, marking the Mountaineers just short of the marker. Another three and out gave the ball back to the Wildcats.
The Wildcats looked to their run game to get the things going on their next possession but after several nice gains; the Mountaineer's defense was able to force the Wildcats to punt the ball away. The Mountaineers would take over deep in their own territory.
The Mountaineers third possession on offense was no different than the first two. The offense failed to move the ball once more. A third straight three and out for the Mountaineers. Nick O'Toole's punt handed the Wildcats excellent field position at about midfield.
The Wildcats took over on offense and managed to the move the ball. Kansas State's quarterback, Jake Waters completed two passes to move the chains for the Wildcats. After picking up the first, Walter's completed a long third down pass to wide receiver, Tyler Lockette who caught the ball for a 35-yard Kansas State touchdown. The Wildcats would strike first, leading the Mountaineers 7-0 late in the first quarter.
The Mountaineer's offense managed to find a little groove on their next possession. Trickett found Sims on a short pass to move the chains as well as wide receiver Ivan McCartney for another first down. However, the Wildcat's defense would stop the Mountaineer's offense ending their drive and the first quarter. The Wildcats outgained the Mountaineers 188-55 in the first quarter.
O'Toole's fourth punt of the day put the Wildcats at their own five yard line. The Wildcat's offense was forced to go three and out deep in their own territory. The Mountaineers would take over just shy of the 50-yard line.
The Mountaineer's offense found some life on their next possession. A great run by Dreamius Smith and a middle screen pass to Sims put the Mountaineer's in Wildcat's territory. After Trickett was sacked by Chaquil Ree, Trickett would come right back and find wide receiver Jordan Thompson near the 10-yard line. Trickett would then scramble for a 6-yard rushing touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked; the Mountaineers would trail 7-6 in the second quarter.
The Wildcat's offense was unable to respond as Waters and company went three and out after barely moving the ball. Mark Krause punted the ball away for the Wildcats. The Mountaineers would take over on their own 17-yard line.
The Mountaineer's offense put the ball in the hands of Sims, who picked up two first downs on two passes from Trickett. Trickett then aired it out to Ronald Carswell to complete a 50-yard pass play to put WVU in the red zone. The Mountaineer's offense weren't able to produce a touchdown while in the red zone. Josh Lambert booted the ball through the uprights from 21-yards out. The Mountaineers would take the lead, 9-7 midway through the second quarter.
"We struggled in the red zone," said Trickett. "The frustration level's high."
The Wildcat's committed a holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff putting them at their own 10 yard line. Kansas State looked to their running back John Hubert to take the ball at the Mountaineers. However, a good defensive stop by the Mountaineer's defense forced the Wildcats to punt it away. Trickett and the rest of the offense would set up shop just beyond the 50 yard line.
Trickett found Kevin White on a good pass play to pick up a first down. Trickett then handed the ball off to Sims who almost broke one after picking up another first down. The Mountaineer's offense would stall yet again in the red zone. Lambert was sent out to kick another field goal for the Mountaineers but the Mountaineers ran a fake as Michael Molinari kept the ball and attempt to run for the first down. The Well-disciplined Kansas State special teams stayed home and stopped the Mountaineers forcing a turnover on downs.
The Wildcat's kept it on the ground to run out the clock, ending the first half. The Mountaineers would take 9-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. Kansas State would finish the first half with 142 yards while WVU had 221 yards.
The Wildcats would get the ball to start the second half. The Wildcat's would have Daniel Sam's lead the charger to start it off. Brandon Golson would sack Sam's on the first play of the series. Waters would then enter the game after that. Waters would try to pick up the first on a designed run but Nick Kwiatkowski would stop him short of the marker. A three and out to start for the Wildcats.
The Mountaineer's offense would start the drive at their own 27-yard line. Trickett would have the ball stripped as he tried to escape pressure; the fumble was scooped up by Kansas State. However, the Mountaineer's defense would answer. Kwiatkowski came up big again as he forced a fumble. Joseph recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.
Trickett would find Kevin White on a tunnel screen; White would turn on the burners and take the ball all the way to the Kansas State side of the field for a 43-yard play. The Mountaineer's would stall shortly after. Lambert's kick from 50-yards out was good increasing the Mountaineer's lead 12-7.
The Wildcat's ensuing offensive drive would show some signs of life on the ground. Hubert managed to carry the ball for decent yards and a picked up a big third down on a pass from Sams. Sams would get the Wildcats offense into rhythm. Sams picked up another big third down conversion to receiver Lockett to increase the momentum. Some confusion with the Wildcat's offense forced Kansas State to burn there first timeout of the second half in the third quarter. However, the Wildcats would continue to pound the ball with Hubert but it was a pass from Sams to Lockett for a touchdown. A 9-yard touchdown pass and catch put the Wildcats up 14-12 late in the third quarter.
The Mountaineer's offense took to the air on their next possession as Trickett found Daikiel Shorts on a big pass play to move the chains. The Wildcat's would be able to hold the Mountaineers offense to close out the third quarter.
The Wildcat's offense would take over on their own 22 yard line. Sams arm would continue to move the ball for the Mountaineers. Sams found an open Sexton for a 31-yard pass play to move the ball down field. Waters then entered the game and picked up a first down with his legs, a role reversal for the Kansas State quarterbacks. Waters would then finish the drive off with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Tramaine Thompson. The Wildcats would go up 21-12 in the fourth quarter.
"Jake Waters, he switched it up a bit," said nose tackle Shaq Rowell.
The Mountaineer's offense would take the field looking to answer quickly. Trickett would take off for a first down only to have the ball stripped again. The fumbled was recovered by the Wildcat's, a crucial turnover for the Mountaineers in the fourth.
The Wildcats took over once again on offense. Waters with a series of screen passes picked up positive yards for Kansas State as the Wildcats looked to milk the clock. Waters would then find his go-to-guy, Lockett. Lockett caught his third touchdown pass of the game this time it was a 24-yard pass for the score. The Wildcat's increased their lead to 28-12 midway through the fourth.
The Mountaineers would send out quarterback Paul Millard for the next offensive series in an effort to climb back into the game. The Mountaineers would catch a break on a third and long with a pass interference call to keep their scoring hopes alive. Millard connected with Jordan Thompson on several passed to put the ball in Kansas State territory. However, the Wildcat's heavy pass pressure would disrupt Millard in the pocket forcing him to throw incomplete and turning the ball over on downs.
"We went with Paul because he has more experience at spreading the ball around," said Holgorsen when asked about the change in quarterback. The Mountaineers offense continues to struggle. "I thought it would take care of itself."
Trickett would finish the day 15 for 28, 227 yards, one rushing touchdown and two lost fumbles. Millard would go 4 for 13, 37 yards and one interception. The Mountaineers total passing yards amounted to 264 yards on the game.
The Wildcats wouldn't stop there. Waters marched the offense down the field as Hubert punched in it for the Wildcat's first rushing touchdown of the game. The Wildcat's would pull away with a 35-12 victory.
"We got to finish everything we do," said Holgorsen. "This doesn't happen to a good team."
Another second half collapse for the Mountaineers as the search for a road win continues. The Mountaineers now display a 3-5 overall record and a 1-4 record in Big 12 play.