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West Virginia football vs. Kansas State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Mountaineers battle Wildcats

Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Coming off an unscheduled bye week courtesy of Hurricane Florence, 13th-ranked West Virginia returns to action Saturday by hosting Kansas State. The contest will serve as the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: West Virginia -16

 

After opening the season with one-sided wins against Tennessee (40-14) and Youngstown State (52-17), the Mountaineers were supposed to play at N.C. State last Saturday, but Mother Nature had other ideas and the game was called off early last week. So, instead, coach Dana Holgorsen and his charges got in some extra intrasquad work. “Tuesday and Wednesday we pretty much just turned them back into camp practices and went against each other,”Holgorsen said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “You have to keep playing, you need timing, you need conditioning and just a whole bunch of things. If you want them to improve or if you want them to stay the same, you have to keep doing it. So, we did that on Tuesday and Wednesday and then practiced them over the weekend, which gave us a little bit of time to prepare.” Kansas State, meanwhile, will be playing for a fourth straight Saturday and also will be hitting the road for the first time this season after a 2-1 start, including a 41-17 win over UTSA last Saturday.

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Sophomore Skylar Thompson and junior Alex Delton have split snaps at quarterback in all three games so far, but it was Thompson who seemingly grabbed hold of the starting job against UTSA, completing 13-of-18 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns while pacing the Wildcats on the ground with 66 yards and a score on 14 rushes. With 228 yards and a TD on 51 carries, Alex Barnes is Kansas State’s leading rusher while wide receivers Isaiah Zuber and Dalton Schoen have combined for 20 receptions for 353 yards and five TDs. Cornerback Duke Shelley is pacing the team with 15 total tackles and six pass breakups, but stopping the run has been troublesome for the Wildcats so far as they’re surrendering 201.3 yards per game and 6.1 per carry.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (2-0, 0-0)

Senior quarterback Will Grier’s Heisman Trophy campaign is off to a flying start as he’s completed 46-of-60 attempts (76.7 percent) for 761 yards and nine TDs while tossing only one interception. Senior wideouts Gary Jennings Jr. and David Sills V have been Grier’s top targets, combining for 383 yards and six scores on 21 receptions. Defensively, junior linebacker David Long Jr. is pacing the team with 23 total tackles, including 13 solo stops and 2.5 tackles for loss.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Kansas State holds a 4-2 series edge since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012, but the Mountaineers have won the last two, following a 28-23 victory late last season in Manhattan.

2. The Wildcats have won six of their last seven Big 12 road games, including a 45-40 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma State last November.

3. In Grier’s 13 starts at West Virginia, the Mountaineers are averaging 38.2 points per contest.

PREDICTION: West Virginia 34, Kansas State 20

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