MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Two losses, 14 touchdowns, 110 points and 1,437 yards.

So much for West Virginia’s “improved” defense.

After confidence-sucking performances against Baylor and Texas Tech, the Mountaineers are desperately trying to regain their footing. Though coaches and players are reluctant to compare this to the 2012 collapse, that’s the most obvious point of reference.

“I don’t think the intensity was there the past two weeks like it was the first five games,” said linebacker Jared Barber, the team’s top tackler with 50.

Intensity, along with discipline, have suddenly been lacking as West Virginia’s defense was exposed by the Big 12′s most efficient spread attacks. Baylor was completely unstoppable while rolling up a conference-record 864 yards in a 73-42 victory. And though WVU enjoyed moments of leverage against Texas Tech, the Red Raiders scored on four of their final drives en route to 537 yards and a 37-27 win.

On Saturday’s trip to Kansas State (2-4, 0-3), WVU encounters an offense more similar to the ones it stalemated during the first five games.

“Things (with K-State) are a little bit more compact,” said defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. “The last couple of opponents have been able to spread you sideline to sideline, making you defend vertically and horizontally. They were able to isolate us a little bit.”

Having slipped to ninth in the league and 103rd nationally in total defense at 453 yards per game, West Virginia (3-4, 1-3) also is allowing 29.7 points, which ranks ninth in the Big 12 and 90th overall.

West Virginia has allowed 20-of-30 third-down conversions in the last two games, clearly unable to matchup against Baylor’s gap-splitting speed and Texas Tech’s pinpoint passing. K-State deploys a more physical attack, especially with dual-threat quarterback Daniel Sams having surpassed juco transfer Jake Waters.

“They like to run the ball with power—they like to hit,” said WVU linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who could be a candidate for PTSD after chasing Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro all over Mountaineer Field last week. “They like to run the ball straight up and down.”

With a 60-40 run-pass ratio through six games, K-State is playing to its strength and away from its turnover prone quarterbacks who have the fewest pass attempts in the Big 12 (155) but the second-most interceptions (nine).

“Now we can get back hopefully into getting people down in the box,” Patterson said. “I think (Darwin) Cook and (Karl) Joseph, both their strengths are run-support style of safeties. I think that plays more a little bit more into our comfort level.”

Said Barber: “I’d rather be facing a running team. I guess it fits my style better. We’re all looking forward to it.”

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Comments

  • Big Larry

    I got my chubby hands on some of Ma's meatballs!

  • WVU WILL LOSE

    I love how everyone has their theories and predictions about WVU. Sports are unpredictable. Anyone or any team can win. That's why there are upsets. It's just a game. It makes me laugh how people get so invested in college football. Instead of wasting your time talking about a losing team with a terrible coaching staff, go out and volunteer or do something positive. WVU football sucks. They will never win a national title. End of story.

    • Steve

      Hey why don't you do something positive instead of spending your welfare checks on Internet service for the purpose of posting your negativity about WVU.

      • JimJim

        Steve, the welfare checks go for beer!

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    I watched all of the Herd game and the QB did a great job. Too bad the WRs did not catch the ball even if it was between the numbers. This is a team sport. No one can do it by themselves. We proved that last year with our three member team.
    This year we need everyone to step up and play as a team. We could win out and end up 8-4 if we play every game as a team.
    LETS GOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS
    Still say the score will be Mountaineers 28,K. State 14.

    • TruthTeller

      Not according to ESPN. Football is all about one super star player. They talk about one player during the whole game!!! The cameras are on one player!!! I am so sick of ESPN. Man has that
      organization gone down hill. They even block your comments on the web sites now. If they don't like
      your view point, they block you from being able to voice your opinion. Looks like Obama has his tyrannical hands into ESPN now!!!

      • JimJim

        Go down TruthTeller, they're all out to get you. Ha

  • Mike

    I heard some people have us as 13 point dogs in this game. Wow! Against a 2-4 team

  • WVU FAN

    on our defense I could believe in the TT game our DB was standing at the first down marker and was knock silly by TT WR and turned around received the ball for a first down...WHAT! Our corner need to work on being stronger at the line of scrimmage (hands & Arms) change routes and cover under better when they catch the ball take it way or knock it free....but always be in the other guys head...we need to play stronger at the line of scrimmage / change routes; its not like we can hit anymore in football so like in basketball we need to play better hand check / bump (more then just bump ) and run coverage
    I hope our kids remember what K-State did in our house last year!!!!

    Let's GOOOOOOOOO!! MOUNTAINEEEEEEERS!!!!!!

  • Big Larry

    Glue*

  • Big Larry

    I didn't see any of the game. Too busy eating a box of pancakes on a stick. Mmmm with yummy sausage inside. Then when your done, Ma may let you have the flu so you can make a bird house, or a pirate sword.

  • Jdawg

    Yeah big Larry MU got beat by..... University in the middle of the state of Tennessee lol what a joke so just tuck your tail!!!! The herd left I-AA before before they did, looks like they passed the dinky herd up

  • Big Larry

    Ma says I'm grounded. I had too much Kingsberry Pie.

  • Troll

    Billy, Little Larry come out and play

    • Troll

      Rise and shine boys time to play, if your momma lets you .

  • mat hatter

    after he looks at the okla game , he'll see no reason to throw the ball,,,,our defense is no better than last yr,,, one team trashes us with the run ,the next week another team does it with the pass,,, either way, our defense is trash.

  • WVcoal

    We'll find out very shortly.

  • tw eagle

    the K St qb's will keep Barber on his toes . . .if Cook and Joseph stop their personal game of head hunting and join the rest of the WVU D , saturdays game should be a good win for the Mounties . . .

  • don

    I'm sure when bill snyder looks at the game tapes he will see that our corners are simply incapable of defending the 20-30 yard sideline throws. Even a mediocre qback can pick them apart. Just watch!

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    We can beat them. LETS GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS