When the West Virginia football team travels to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday it will have been 57 days since the last time the Mountaineers won a game.
Kansas State (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) will not make it easy for the Mountaineers (3-6, 1-5) to break their current five-game skid.
“They’re a veteran team,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said Tuesday. “They play extremely disciplined, I think that’s been the culture in the program for a long time.”
The Wildcats are led by first-year head coach Chris Klieman. Klieman went to Kansas State by way of North Dakota State University, where he won four FCS National Championships.
On offense, junior quarterback Skylar Thompson has thrown for 1,589 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception and has added 10 more touchdowns on the ground.
“He is playing really under control,” Brown said. “He’s calm, he’s been really good on third down, he can run and he’s done a great job of throwing the football effectively down field.”
The strength of Kansas State’s defense is the defensive line, Brown said.
“Very talented on the defensive line,” Brown said. “One of the best, if not the best defensive lines.”
The line is led by sophomore end Wyatt Hubert, who has five sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss this season.
For WVU, receivers T.J. Simmons and Sean Ryan could both make their returns to the field Saturday, while linebacker Josh Chandler will return after missing the previous two games with an injury.
At quarterback, Brown said the coaching staff has a plan but will not share it until Saturday. Last week, junior Jarret Doege made his West Virginia debut during the fourth quarter in relief of starter Austin Kendall.
The Mountaineers and Wildcats will kick-off from the Little Apple at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.