College Football Week 8: #4 Kansas State At #13 West Virginia
- CoachingBill Snyder may still not be a household name, but he is starting to get the national recognition he deserves. Last Saturday, Kansas State did what good teams often have to do: win despite not playing their best. The Wildcats are the only undefeated team in the Big 12.Dana Holgorson’s Air Raid came to the screeching halt Saturday at Texas Tech, but it highlighted the difference between the Big 12 and the Big East: West Virginia will now face several more high-quality teams, meaning poor performances are more likely to lead to a loss.
- OffenseKansas State held the ball for 40 minutes last week against Iowa State. Quarterback Collin Klein accounted for 292 of his team’s 364 yards and all of its touchdowns. He is a serious Heisman contender and may mean more to his team than any other player in the country.After lighting up scoreboards all season, the Mountaineers managed just 14 points against Texas Tech. They did put up 408 yards, but completed just 29 of 55 passes and were only 2 of 7 on fourth down after going 5 for 5 the previous week.
- DefenseThe Wildcats were dominant last week: the Cyclones completed less than half of their passes and only ran for 65 yards while turning it over once. KSU is allowing just 16.5 points per game, though it faces a difficult task on Saturday.West Virginia, with its porous defense, had been playing with fire all season; on Saturday, it finally cost them a win. The defense was on the field for seven first-half possessions and gave up five touchdowns; the unit gave up 676 yards for the game.
- Special TeamsThe Wildcats have seniors at kicker and punter; the former is 7 for 8 on field goals.The Mountaineers have some capable returners but haven’t flashed much explosiveness this season. Tavon Austin returned a kickoff to midfield last week but also fumbled a punt.
This is the biggest game of the year in the Big 12 so far. In what should be a high-scoring, competitive affair, Kansas State has the slight edge at home. -Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor