MANHATTAN, Kan. — The conundrum prefacing Saturday’s game at The Bill depends on your perspective: Are Kansas State and West Virginia truly superior to their combined 5-8 record or are these tams simply in denial about their averageness?
Daniel Sams, the runner in K-State quarterback’s platoon, hasn’t run from talk this week that the Wildcats can win out, turning 2-4 into 7-4. As flighty as that sounds, consider K-State has held a fourth-quarter lead in all but one game this season.
Among the defenders who’ll be chasing Sams in front of a sellout homecoming crowd, WVU nose tackle Shaq Rowell, posed a similar platform.
“Our records don’t show how good both teams are,” he said. “I think you’ll see two teams who are going through up-and-down roller-coaster seasons just come out and play football. It will be a dogfight.”
To hear WVU’s defenders talk, they could use a dogfight. After being carved up by no-huddle spread attacks the past two games, they’re happy to face a more conventional offense like K-State’s.
“This is real football here. You just pounding it every play,” Rowell said. “They’re not going to no-huddle—they’re going to take their time, take 3-4 yards a play and be happy with it.”
Of course, K-State took far more than 4 yards a play last season—7.7 to be precise—in a 55-14 romp that showed WVU wasn’t prepared for “real football.” Though Collin Klein graduated from that team, receiver Tyler Lockett (nine catches for 194 yards) returns along with the bulk of the offensive line.
West Virginia has been outscored 126-49 on the road this season, which seems to indicate they’re exactly as good as their 0-3 record.
Pick: K-state 30-27