The Kansas State Wildcats will play their first Big 12 game of the football season against the West Virginia Mountaineers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Milan Puskar Stadium.
Is Bill Snyder’s team ready for conference play? We’re about to find out.
This will not be an easy opener. The Wildcats (2-1) head to Morgantown as 14 1/2-point underdogs against the No. 12 Mountaineers (2-0). But they did get a confidence boost over the weekend from a 41-17 victory over Texas-San Antonio, while West Virginia players sat at home following the cancellation of their game against North Carolina State because of Hurricane Florence.
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Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va.
Radio: KQAM (1480 AM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
The line: West Virginia by 14 1/2
Five things to know
- The Mountaineers have one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. With Heisman Trophy contender Will Grier at quarterback and dynamic playmakers Gary Jennings and David Sills at receiver, it’s difficult for any defense to slow this passing attack. West Virginia flexed its offensive muscles in its first two games, routing Tennessee 40-14 and Youngstown State 52-17. WVU is averaging 586 yards per game.
- This is Dana Holgorsen’s most complete team of his eight-year tenure with the Mountaineers. Not only is this West Virginia group loaded on offense, it is also playing solid defense, allowing 297 yards per game.
- West Virginia has had K-State’s number in recent years. K-State won its first four games against West Virginia when the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012, but the Wildcats haven’t had any luck the past two years. West Virginia won both, including 28-23 last year in Manhattan.
- This could be K-State’s most difficult game of the season. The Wildcats have already played No. 14 Mississippi State and must later take on No. 5 Oklahoma, but West Virginia could be every bit as challenging. The Mountaineers 3-4 defense and high-flying offense are always difficult to prepare for.
- K-State may be short handed again on defense. Starting safety Denzel Goolsby isn’t expected to return from injury anytime soon. Defensive back Kevion McGee has missed two straight games because of an injury. And Linebacker Elijah Sullivan remains questionable after missing the UTSA game. The Wildcats will need players like Eli Walker and Sam Sivelove to step up on defense against a formidable opponent.