No. 4 Kansas State routs No. 13 WVU
Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Updated: Saturday, October 20, 2012 23:10
More than 60,100 fans filled Milan Puskar Stadium to take in the action between two top-15 teams, but few stayed to watch the final seconds tick off the clock.
No. 13 West Virginia’s offense didn’t cross midfield until midway through the third quarter as No. 4 Kansas State trounced the Mountaineers 55-14 Saturday night.
The Wildcats scored on each of their first eight offensive possessions, including a stretch of seven consecutive drives resulting in a touchdown.
“We lost to a very good football team tonight. You have to give Kansas State a lot of credit. They were mistake-free on all sides of the ball,” said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. “There are no excuses, and it starts with me.”
The Mountaineers, who surrendered six passing touchdowns to Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege last Saturday, allowed three passing touchdowns and four rushing scores to Wildcat senior quarterback Collin Klein.
West Virginia’s defense has now allowed at least 45 points in fourth straight games.
“(It’s) unacceptable …Got to do a better job as a coach. We have to do a better job as a team,” said West Virginia co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest. “It’s part of coaching. You have to make sure they’re in the right place at the right time … Right now we’re not getting the job done.”
The defense played without starting cornerback Brodrick Jenkins due to injury and used many freshmen in replacement roles.
DeForest, though, feels all the mistakes made today and in recent games are things that can be fixed.
“Everything is correctable,” he said. “They have to buy in. I have to do a better job as a coach … I don’t want to blame it on the kids. Blame it on me. I’ll take the hit.”
Kansas State took advantage of the depleted Mountaineer defense and controlled time of possession throughout the game. In fact, WVU senior quarterback Geno Smith only had 13 pass attempts at the half – a season low.
“We couldn’t get in a rhythm. I think we ran 14 plays in the first half and only had the ball three times,” Holgorsen said. “So, it’s hard to get in a rhythm when you do that.”
The only bright spot on the night was a kickoff return for a touchdown by West Virginia’s Tavon Austin.
The score cut the Wildcat lead to 24-7 just before the half, but the Mountaineers wouldn’t get any closer.
Austin, though, feels the offense is just as responsible for the loss as the struggling defense.
“We need to start playing with a little more heart,” he said. “It goes both ways. At the same time we’re (the offense) not putting up points either. I wouldn’t throw the defense under the bus at all.”
The Mountaineers’ senior quarterback and Heisman candidate Smith had his worst outing of the season, while finishing 21-32 for 143 yards and one touchdown to go along with two interceptions.
”We’ve reached our low. This is about as low as it gets. I’ve never had to deal with adversity of this magnitude,” Smith said. “I have to do a better job as a leader. As a man, I have to look at myself in the mirror and figure out ways to get better.”
The Mountaineers will look to find solutions during their bye week next weekend.