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October 15, 2012
No. 15/17 West Virginia (5-1, 2-1) is coming off its first loss of the season last Saturday, but don't expect any major overhaul as the Mountaineers prepare to host No. 3/4 Kansas State (6-0, 3-0) this weekend.
On the offensive side, West Virginia struggled against Texas Tech and head coach Dana Holgorsen believes a number of factors contributed to the results such as the inability to run the ball, finish blocks and make defenders miss.
"Tech does a good job defensively, they're disruptive," he said.
But that doesn't mean that coming into this week, West Virginia will change much of what they're doing as Holgorsen chalked it up to a "bad game," where his player didn't respond well to the atmosphere and adversity.
"We'll go about it the same way we went about it the previous five games when we were successful," he said.
Already this week he's noticed his team display more desire than it did during the game last week. And along those lines, Holgorsen expects the team to play better against the Wildcats which he calls the biggest challenge to date.
But it will be a difficult challenge as the last remaining undefeated Big 12 team will bring a very tough and physical brand of football to Morgantown that's became a trademark under head coach Bill Snyder.
"I'm very familiar with coach Snyder and his tenure at Kansas State. They're the same way they've always been," he said. "They're very, very, very tough."
A throwback offense of sorts, Kansas State will attempt to run the football and use ball control to slow down many of the high-tempo offenses that are prevalent in college football. The Wildcats are led by their senior quarterback Colin Klein.
"That's what they do and they're really good at it. They do a great job controlling the clock," Holgorsen said.
It will be up to the Mountaineers defensive unit to stop the run and try to create turnovers and get the ball back to the offense. After the performance against Texas Tech, Holgorsen said he's "happy" with where the defense is from a scheme standpoint, but the unit struggled with many of the same issues as the offense in regards to effort.
When addressing the players that left the game early Saturday, Holgorsen said he will know more about their status beginning tomorrow after treatment.
"When mental toughness was an issue, when it's a physical game, guys tend to go down and get hurt quicker," he said.
There has been a lot of talk on Quinton Spain's stance giving away certain calls and Holgorsen said that they are aware of it, and have been aware of it since they've arrived. However, all offensive tackles tip defenders on certain plays. Still it's something the coaching staff is addressing.
"Something we need to get fixed and make sure we're not predictable," he said.