Know Thy Enemy: West Virginia Mike Tufano November 17, 2014 Features, Gameday, Know Thy Enemy 2014 SCHEDULEAlabama 33 West Virginia 23Towson 0 West Virginia 54Maryland 37 West Virginia 40Oklahoma 45 West Virginia 33Kansas 14 West Virginia 33West Virginia 37 Texas Tech 34Baylor 27 West Virginia 41West Virginia 34 Oklahoma State 10TCU 31 West Virginia 30West Virginia 16 Texas 3311/20 K-STATE11/29 @ Iowa State West Virginia Moutaineers 6-4 (4-3 Big 12) Location: Morgantown, West Virginia Enrollment: 32,348 Colors: Old Gold and Blue Stadium: Milan Puskar Stadium (60,000) 2013 Overall Record: 4-8 (2-7 Big 12; t-7th) Postseason: None All time series: K-State leads 3-1 Last Meeting: West Virginia 12 K-State 35 (10/26/13) Current Streak: K-State won last 3 (1931, 2012, 2013) Twitter: @WVUSports, @WVUFootball Head Coach Dana Holgersen Head Coach: Dana Holgersen Overall Record (Yrs): 27-21 (4th) Record at School: Same Record vs. K-State: 0-2 Salary: $2.3 million Every conference has to have that one coach that in any other profession would be seen a complete nut job. The SEC has Les Miles, The B1G has Bo Pelini, and the Pac-12 has whoever happens to be coaching USC at any given time. In the Big 12 it’s Dana Holgersen. He wasn’t much of a player, coming from Davenport, Iowa1 and playing at Iowa Wesleyan. After starting his coaching career at Valdosta State and a couple other small stops, he served under Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2000-2007 to help develop the rise of the spread offense that has often been credited to Leach. A couple years at Houston, and one at Oklahoma State, then Holgersen got his shot at West Virginia. But not without some craziness. He was originally brought to West Virginia to be the offensive coordinator in 2011 and was promised that he’d replace Bill Stewart a year later. That arrangement worked out about as well as could be expected, Stewart resigned, and Holgersen became the head coach immediately. He shared a Big East title in 2011 before coming back to the Big 12 and leading West Virginia in a quest to catch up to the level of a major conference. Senior QB Clint Trickett Mountaineer Offense Passing Offense: 318.0 yds/game (12th in FBS) Rushing Offense: 184.2 yds/game (51st in FBS) Scoring Offense: 34.1 pts/game (35th in FBS) #9 Clint Trickett QB Sure, he could have won a national title with Florida State a year ago, but it would have been from the bench. Trickett went there with his dad, the offensive line coach, and decided it was better to take a shot at playing time at his father’s alma mater, West Virginia. He currently ranks 7th in the nation in passing yardage, sandwiched right between Davis Webb and Jameis Winston. He’s virtually no threat to run, but does handle pressure well. Where he struggles is in his throw selection. He has a tendency to lock into a single receiver, and if the secondary can pick that up, he’ll start making mistakes. #11 Kevin White WR If you’re a top ranked QB and you’re locked into single receivers, someone is probably pretty highly ranked. That would be Kevin White. He’s a 6’3″ wide receiver who transferred to West Virginia from Lackawanna College. He’s 3rd in the nation, averaging 120.7 yd/game, and has 8 TDs to go along with them. But it’s not just because of how often he’s targeted. He’s an NFL talent that K-State is going to have to find a way to shut down. The dreamy running back from Wichita When you think of a Dana Holgersen offense you think of pass first, but West Virginia’s steps forward this season have come with a philosophy change. For the spread to really succeed, the old adage is true: you have to run to set up the pass, and for that the Mountaineers have enlisted a trio of running backs, Wendell Smallwood, Rushel Shell, and Dremarius Smith. The last of which is a Wichita native who played his juco ball at Butler County. So far in 2014 53% of the play calls have been runs compared to the opposite balance the year before. Sophomore CB Daryl Worley Mountaineer Defense Passing Defense: 203.7 yds/game (34th in FBS) Rushing Defense: 181.5 yds/game (88th in FBS) Points against: 26.4 pts/game (62nd in FBS) Good coverage corners West Virginia’s biggest improvements this season have come on the defensive side of the ball. When they made the move to the Big 12 their offense was up to par, but the defense needed help. It may not quite be there yet, but their pass defense has gotten really good, and a lot of credit for that goes to Daryl Worley and Terrell Chestnut, two very good cover corners. Not so good against the run It’s not that they’re bad… but it’s not nearly as good as how they’ve been able to bring their defense up to par against the pass. They’re using a ton of aggressive blitzing schemes to stop the pass, and that’s opened teams up to run against them. The question is, can K-State’s rough running game take advantage of what West Virginia will certainly sell out to give them? And then there’s this… It’s been 84 years since West Virginia has beaten K-State. That last loss (the only one) came in Morgantown in 1930. Stats are fun when you’ve only played a team 4 times. West Virginia fans do make it easy to make this a team to root against. Get a big win against Baylor? Awesome. Enjoy it. Riot afterwards? Come on… Dreamarius Smith is the only player listed from the state of Kansas, but Jaylon Meyers did play at Hutchinson CC. They’ve had some kicking issues, hitting on just 76% of their field goal attempts. Notes: Hey, I’m from the Quad Cities, too! [↩] K-State fans, we salute you!