Kansas State, Klein to challenge WVU defense
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:07
Following two back-to-back weekends on the road in the Texas, the West Virginia football team will return home for conference tilt against Kansas State.
The matchup will take place on the third Saturday in October.
For the Wildcats, the game against the Mountaineers will be tucked in a tough stretch that includes seven games in seven weeks.
The Wildcats are coming off of one their best seasons in recent years with a 10-3 record and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl.
Veteran head coach Bill Snyder returns for his 20th season in Manhattan and has nine returning starters on offense.
Quarterback Collin Klein is back for his senior season. Klein, a former wide receiver, accounted for 69 percent of his team’s total offense a year ago. He needs just one rushing touchdown to the tie the FBS record for most in a career by a starting quarterback.
Klein had 27 rushing touchdowns in 2011 alone.
Junior running back John Hubert rushed for 900 yards last season and will be back.
However, Kansas State will only return two starters on the offensive line.
Defensively, the Wildcats will have many questions to answer. Only six starters return, and few made a major impact a year ago.
All-Big 12 nose tackle Ray Kibble has moved on to the NFL, leaving middle linebacker Arthur Brown as the leader of the defense.
Brown sat out the 2010 season after transferring from Miami but emerged as a stout defender in 2011 when he was named Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year after recording 95 tackles and two sacks.
The Kansas State defense ranked 74th nationally in yards per game.
The Wildcats struggled mightily against the pass, while allowing 3,423 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns.
With the explosive, pass-happy West Virginia offense in 2012, Brown and his counterparts will have their work cut out for them.
Expect this Big 12 matchup to be a high-scoring affair.
Klein and his talented core returning on offense will put the pressure on the new 3-4 defense the Mountaineers will put on the field in 2012.
But the young and inexperienced Wildcats will also be challenged by West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and the entire Mountaineer offense.
Both teams could enter this one nationally ranked and should put on an exciting offensive show for the fans in Morgantown.