WVU collapses again in blowout to K-State
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two weeks after registering one of the biggest wins in school history, West Virginia's first season in the Big 12 appears to be on the verge of a monumental collapse.
The Mountaineers suffered their second consecutive humiliating defeat, this time a 55-14 trouncing against No. 4 Kansas State on Saturday night before 60,101 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.
“We reached our low,” quarterback Geno Smith said. “It's as low as it gets.”
A week ago, West Virginia lost a 49-14 decision at Texas Tech. This setback was far worse; it likely will topple the No. 17 Mountaineers from the polls.
Coach Dana Holgorsen promised a better effort from the Mountaineers, who played with a surprising lack of intensity against Texas Tech a week after their emotional 48-45 win at Texas vaulted them to a No. 5 ranking.
If anything, the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) were more lackluster, with their offense as responsible for the loss as their continued poor defensive play.
“I thought we were ready to play,” Holgorsen said. “We addressed a lot of the effort issues. We were ready to play. We played a good football team. They played as well as they can play.”
West Virginia, ranked No. 7 in total offense entering the game, was held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season. The Mountaineers didn't cross midfield until midway through the third quarter.
Tavon Austin's 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was the team's lone highlight.
“The schemes are fine,” Holgorsen said. “We didn't forget how to coach football. I didn't forget how to coach offense.”
Smith was outplayed by Kansas State's Collin Klein in what was billed as a matchup of Heisman Trophy-worthy quarterbacks.
Smith was held without a touchdown pass and threw his first two interceptions of the season, ending a streak of 326 passes without an interception dating to last season. Smith's touchdown pass to Austin made it 52-14 with 7:31 remaining in the game.
Klein, meanwhile, was masterful and may have moved to the top of the Heisman list.
He was responsible for seven touchdowns: four rushing and three passing. He led the Wildcats (7-0, 4-0) to scores on each of their first eight possessions. Kansas State wasn't forced to punt until the 10:33 mark of the fourth quarter.
Klein was 19 of 21 for 323 yards and didn't throw an interception. Smith was 21 of 32 for a season-low 143 yards.
“Two weeks ago we were the frontrunner,” Austin said. “I don't know where we are now.”
Defensively, West Virginia continued its season-long struggle, as the Mountaineers permitted at least 45 points for the fourth consecutive game.
When their offense was clicking, the Mountaineers were able to overcome their defensive problems. But the past two games resulted in losses because of problems on both sides of the ball.
West Virginia fell into an early hole and trailed, 31-7, at halftime.
If West Virginia's offense was a disappointment, its defensive performance was typical.
Kansas State scored on all five of its possessions in the first half. Last week Texas Tech scored 35 first-half points against the Mountaineers.
West Virginia deferred and elected to receive the second-half kickoff, but it went downhill quickly. Kansas State led 3-0 following its opening drive and 10-0 after the first quarter en route to building a 24-0 advantage.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.