MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Considering 46-year-old Dana Holgorsen finds it difficult sometimes to communicate with college recruits, he can’t fathom how Bill Snyder manages at 79.
“I don’t have any idea how he does it,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “It’s hard enough for me, and I know all these other young guys like Lincoln, Kliff and Beaty, and a lot of other young guys in this league. It’s hard enough for them because it’s different. How these kids are raised, and how they learn, how they communicate — it’s different. It’s different for me and them, let alone Coach Snyder and them.”
No. 23 West Virginia (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) faces the venerable Snyder on Saturday at the stadium named in his honor. Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) has won the previous two meetings in Manhattan, where the ever-widening generation gap hasn’t stopped Snyder from producing quality teams.
“I think probably at the end of the day he just gets up and puts his head down. He knows football and he just goes in,” Holgorsen said. “He knows how to attack the opponent, and he gets that message across to his players, and he gets them ready to play, and they go out and they play their tail off.
“It looks to me like they’re having fun doing it. It’s unbelievable.”
Taking a cue from Snyder, Holgorsen was more tight-lipped than usual about the availability of injured defensive starters Mike Daniels, Xavier Preston, Adam Shuler, Toyous Avery and backup nose guard Jalen Harvey.
“I’m not talking about injuries and neither is Coach Snyder, so you guys can just hold that question,” he said. “Everybody is day-to-day, just like in Manhattan.
“I’ve said for a long time, I admire Coach Snyder and what he’s done. One of the things he’s done more than anybody is be incredibly guarded with who is going to play. So I will practice these guys and if they want to play, then they are going to practice, and if they do that, then they’ll travel and maybe they’ll help us win.”
Sills draws DBs’ attention
Through seven games David Sills had 46 catches for 737 yards and 15 touchdowns. The past two weeks his production dipped245 yards against Oklahoma State and Iowa State, to a combined five receptions for 56 yards, though Sills did catch his 16th touchdown on a 10-yard slant against the Cyclones.
“I told him several weeks ago that was about to start happening,” receivers coach Tyron Carrier. “I said, ‘Kudos, you’re the guy now. That’s what happens.’ Box coverage, always having somebody over the top of him, people playing him hard inside.”
The increased attention on Sills has coincided with Ka’Raun White enjoying a two-week stretch of eight catches for 245 yards and three scores.
Robinson bouncing around
After three starts at cornerback followed by two starts at free safety, Kenny Robinson is having an impactful freshman season. His fourth-down pass breakup ended Iowa State’s final drive Saturday.
“He’s still a young kid, still learning. I think his biggest attribute is that he’s just a football player,” said safeties coach Matt Caponi.
“I’m trying not to throw too much onto his plate at one time, but he’s coming along. He’s engaged on the sidelines and during the game. He understands adjustments and stuff.”
McCrane trying to make amends
Recently named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, K-State’s Matthew McCrane ranks fourth in the nation with 1.80 field goals per game and is making the most of an injury-riddled career in which he has converted 86 percent of his kicks.
McCrane stands 17-of-21 this season, highlighted by a 54-yarder at Texas. His misses include three from 50-plus, including a 59-yarder vs. Oklahoma.
In 2016, he made 3-of-4 at West Virginia but pulled a 43-yarder wide left at the end of a 17-16 loss.
“I hate that I missed the kicks that I did and I wish I could have made it a couple more seasons fully healthy,” McCrane said Tuesday.
Last week McCrane said the Wildcats “don’t deserve to be in the Big 12” if they miss out on a bowl. Winning Saturday would clinch bowl-eligibility.
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) November 5, 2017
Brogan brings the bobcat
K-State’s 42-35 win at Texas Tech was memorable for the fourth-quarter comeback … and for backup safety Barry Brogan celebrating with a stuffed bobcat in the locker-room mosh pit.
“Phil the Bobcat” belongs to the team equipment manager and became a curious participant in the postgame euphoria. The video tweet brought Brogan a level of social media attention normally reserved for quarterback Jesse Ertz’s inspirational quips.
Still, he isn’t sure the bobcat will become a postgame tradition.
“I feel like it is something that could get overkilled pretty fast,” Brogan said. “It is a stuffed dead animal. It was funny at the time, but it might be one of those things that can get old fast.”