Season renewed, WVU plays Snyder’s Kansas State team
SHEPHERDSTOWN — West Virginia’s back at it. Hurricane Florence is gone and will leave the Mountaineers alone.
Now, this will become an 11-game season with the scheduled North Carolina State game being cancelled by ol’ Mother Nature.
The remaining nine games will be against Big 12 Conference opponents, the first coming on Saturday when legendary coach Bill Snyder brings his Kansas State team to Morgantown.
West Virginia has early-season successes versus Tennessee and Youngstown State, and last played on Sept. 8.
Kansas State was manhandled by Mississippi State on the same Saturday the Mountaineers drubbed Youngstown State.
In the 6 years West Virginia has been in the Big 12, it has only beaten the Wildcats twice, and those wins came last year (by a 28-23 count) and the year before (by a 17-16 score). Snyder bested Dana Holgorsen and company the first four times the teams played.
Kansas State is not a dramatic team. It leans toward a conservative style fitting the quiet nature of its coach, who once resurrected a Wildcat program that was one of the weakest in the country. Snyder retired once. But he came back to the sidelines not too long afterward.
He is revered in Manhattan, Kansas and all over the state. Snyder is in his mid-70s. He has delegated many responsibilities to his assistants, one of which is his son.
In its least productive performance of the season, the Wildcats appeared to be slow and without much punch when losing at home to Mississippi State.
The Mountaineers topped Tennessee with quarterback Will Grier successfully out-dueling the Volunteer pass defense. The same could be said for the runaway win over Youngstown State. West Virginia also had three running backs who did well in jabbing the Penguins.
In the Big 12, both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are gliding along with undefeated records. Oklahoma was expected to be a factor in the chase for the national championship. And they are proving those making predictions to be right.
If the Mountaineers are going to make the noises of a prime contender for a berth in the Big 12 championship game, they can’t be “trapped” by the Wildcats.
Steady improvement is a necessity before the Boomer Sooners come to Morgantown in late November, for the final game of the regular season. K-State needs to be beaten for the third straight year.