WVU vs. Kansas State: Five Keys To The Game

Matthew Holst - Getty Images

What does WVU have to do in order to beat Kansas State and re-establish itself in the Big 12 title picture?

1. The offense has to be like Stella and get its groove back.

We as fans can look back at that Texas Tech game and blame a lot of individual things that caused the offense to sputter, but it was most likely a perfect storm of everything. Geno and this offense have set themselves a standard so high that it was nearly impossible to maintain every week in a conference as deep as the Big 12. A bad week was somewhat overdue. Combine that with a Texas Tech defense that is most definitely excellent against the pass and what the coaches termed a lack of intensity (among other things) and only 14 points is the result.

Kansas State has a stout defense themselves and are very disciplined. If WVU makes mental mistakes against this team, then it could mean a quiet Mountaineer Field Saturday night. This team was embarrassed last weekend and I expect the focus to be regained, especially with the #4 team coming to town. Focus, discipline and execution should get this offense back Into the Groove, even against a top K St. defense. A solid running game would do wonders for opening up the passing lanes again too.

2. WVU's defensive front must generate a pass rush and stop the run.

Part of what made Doege have a field day against WVU last week was the lack of a pass rush. If the quarterback has time to read and react, his quality decision making goes up exponentially. Kansas State is a grind it out, run first team but will pass the ball when necessary and is usually effective doing so. WVU has a decent run defense, but it will have to be even better than it has been against a team like K St.

3. WVU must prevent the Wildcats from chewing too much clock.

How do you do that? Stop the runs and cover on third downs. Snyder and this offense will bludgeon you to death with their meticulousness. They want long sustained drives that keeps a dynamic fast paced offense like the Mountaineers off the field. WVU will never win a time of possession battle with K St, but watch for the number of plays each offense runs. If the totals are in the 60's or even below, K St. is accomplishing what they want and keeping Geno and the gang off the field.

4. WVU must force mistakes and win the turnover battle.

Part of K St's success is their lack of turnovers while generating many. Through six games, they've only turned the ball over 4 times. They don't make mistakes. WVU has to find a way to FORCE mistakes. They've done a pretty good job of it so far this year, forcing 10, while K St. has also been excellent by forcing 14. Whichever team can force the most mistakes and capitalize on them should come out the winner.

5. A loud, raucous Mountaineer Field won't intimidate K-State, but it certainly won't hurt.

WVU does have the advantage of playing at home, at night, in front of a crowd that will have been lubricating themselves for upwards of 12 hours (or more). Mountaineer Field at night is truly a special place and a place where special things tend to happen. We as fans need to make every effort to replicate the atmosphere of a year ago against LSU. Only this year, let's make it even more intense and push the good guys over the top, back on track, back in the Big 12 title race and back into the national spotlight.

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