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The Shotgun/Throwdown (9/21/18): West Virginia will look for the big plays against Kansas State

These Wildcats have changed their stripes. The Mountaineers are ready to strike.

NCAA Football: Youngstown State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.


WVU football: Offense will seek 'opportunities for big plays' | EerSports
During their time as neighbors in the Big 12, West Virginia's offense has known Kansas State's defense to behave in a specific and challenging manner. Zone coverage. Dropping back. Dedicating defenders to cover a quarter of the field. Scurrying to the ball. Making tackles instead of making mistakes.

Third downs haven’t been a sore spot for West Virginia so far | WV MetroNews
A safe rule of thumb in college football is this: If you rank behind Illinois in a major statistical category, there’s room for improvement. Despite its prolific offense, West Virginia found itself in that position last season on third down.

WVU football: Mountaineers tasked with stopping tricky Kansas State ground game | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Kansas State’s mascot is a wildcat, but as far as offenses go in the Big 12, K-State is more of a unicorn.

Catching K-State’s offense early helps West Virginia’s preparation | WV MetroNews
If there’s a right time to catch Kansas State, it’s right now.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Patience important to Grier, Mountaineers against Kansas State | Times West Virginian
It was a play that went from disaster to touchdown and ended up winning a ball game for West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, but it’s one he hopes you don’t have to see this year.

WVU Notebook: Offensive efficiency on right track; turnovers will be a priority against Kansas State | Times West Virginian
West Virginia spent much of its offseason trying to increase the efficiency of the offense. By that, they emphasized getting into the right play, taking what the defense was giving, not taking chances and moving the chains and holding the ball rather than just turning it into bombs away.

The Chalkboard: West Virginia vs. Kansas State | WV News
Kickoffs, punts and the returns of both will be a spotlight item in this week’s game. Kansas State has excelled in those areas in recent matchups with the Mountaineers, and it was a 97-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter of the 2015 meeting that allowed them to take a 24-23 decision.

WVU’s Robinson getting the most out of his talent | Times West Virginian
West Virginia’s budding star free safety Kenny Robinson is fortunate he is not becoming a victim of his own talent.

Sunahara’s Path Crossed Many Sports Before Landing At WVU | WV News
West Virginia long snapper Rex Sunahara might serve as the spokesman for the benefits of playing multiple sports while growing up. He has excelled, at different points in his career, at football, basketball and baseball, and has found satisfaction and enjoyment in each.

Campus Connection: The Hall Comes Calling For Avon | West Virginia Athletics
For Avon Cobourne, most of the games he once played at West Virginia University are now beginning to run together. Age and time have a way of blurring things. But he does remember one game very vividly.

West Virginia Athletics

Mountaineers Open Big 12 Play Friday | West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia University women's soccer team opens Big 12 Conference play at No. 22 Texas Tech on Friday, Sept. 21, with first kick at John Walker Soccer Complex set for 8 p.m. EST.

Around the Big 12

Kicking the Tires: West Virginia Mountaineers | Bring On The Cats
K-State kicks off conference play in Morgantown. A stern test awaits.

No. 17 TCU’s team speed presents a new challenge for Texas | Burnt Orange Nation
TCU is still figuring a few things out, but the Horned Frogs are loaded at the skill positions and might be the fastest team in college football.

Kansas Jayhawks Football: Baylor Bears Preview | Rock Chalk Talk
KU has lost 40 road conference games in a row.

Baylor-Kansas Football Preview and Prediction | Our Daily Bears
The Bears have to win this game

2018 Game III: Iowa State vs. Akron Football Preview | Wide Right & Natty Lite
We welcome the ZIPS to Town!

Texas Tech's Alan Bowman leads Big 12's emerging young stars | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Sure, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is gushing about quarterback Alan Bowman’s fast start. What surprises him most is the freshman’s ability so far to limit his mistakes.

Around the NCAA

Spread picks for every college football game in 2018’s Week 4 | SBNation
The Aggies have a decent chance to cover against Bama, Oregon can upset Stanford, and more.

So did Urban Meyer delete important texts or not? | SBNation
The coach disputes an investigation commissioned by his employer.

Jimbo Fisher vs. Nick Saban: The battle of the most expensive contracts ever | SBNation
The game doesn’t set a record for annual pay, but no two coaches going head-to-head have ever had deals this big.

Baker Mayfield gives the Cleveland Browns honest-to-god hope | SBNation
On Thursday night, Baker Mayfield showed the Browns there’s a way to win without playing possum.

Baker Mayfield has always known how to make a debut | SBNation
The Browns QB has shined in debuts before.

Jimmy Butler trade: Wolves are shutting down offers. They shouldn’t be | SBNation
Minnesota views Butler as a franchise player. He might be, but they still need to trade him.

Kansas State Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday at 3:30PM ET on ESPN from Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers kick off Big 12 conference play against noted wizard Bill Snyder. West Virginia is favored by 16 points.

Washington State Cougars vs. USC Trojans
Tonight at 10:30PM ET on ESPN from Los Angeles, California. USC is favored by 4.5 points in a little Friday night PAC 12 AFTER DARK action.

#22 Texas A&M Aggies vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday at 3:30PM ET on CBS from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Keep an this game in case the Jimbo Fisher Aimless Revenge tour actually does something noteworthy. The Tide are 26 point favorites.

#17 TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Longhorns
Saturday at 4:30PM ET on FOX from Austin, Texas. The Texas Back-o-Meter will hit critical mass if the Longhorns pull this upset off. TCU is currently a 3 point favorite.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #15 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Saturday at 7:00PM ET on FS1 from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Texas Tech seems to have gotten things back on track with a win over the Houston Cougars last week, but could get derailed again against Mike Gundy’s Cowboys. Oklahoma State is a 14 point favorite.

#7 Stanford Cardinal vs. #20 Oregon Ducks
Saturday at 8:00PM ET on ABC from Eugene, Oregon. Oregon is still searching for their identity, but Justin Herbert has already found his name mentioned as possibly being the first quarterback taken in the 2019 draft. Stanford is favored by 2.5 points.

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. #10 Washington Huskies
Saturday at 10:30PM ET on ESPN from Seattle, Washington. HERM AFTER DARK took a tough loss last week, so a win over the Pac 12 favorites would be huge. Washington is favored by 18 points.

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