MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen met with the media Tuesday for his weekly press conference.
Here are your news and notes:
• Next up: Kansas State (2-4, 0-3 Big 12). They were top-five at this time last year, he’ll say the same things now as he did then. “It starts with Bill Snyder and the job that he’s done as head coach in the 22 years he’s been there. Tremendous football coach that does a lot of things for our profession and a lot of things for his kids.” The Wildcats are a disciplined team that has character. “They played phenomenal football when they came here last year” and won 55-14.
• Kansas State “searching a little bit for an identity” on offense. Much like WVU, when you lose a QB like Collin Klein, you have that problem. Seems like they’re settling in on Daniel Sams, who is “very fast, very athletic.” He controlled the game well vs. Baylor two weeks ago. Anticipates WRs Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson to be back -- “fast, dynamic guys.”
• Defensively, Kansas State lost a lot of seniors last year. Only allowing 150 yards per game rushing. Their speed isn’t quite as good as it was last year, but they’ve improved every year.
• Special teams “will be the biggest challenge of the year. They have no weaknesses special teams-wise.” You can tell they spend a lot of time and focus on special teams.
• Again, thought Saturday “was a game we could have won.” Never going to be any easy games in the Big 12, “this is what we signed up for.”
• KSU offense does change depending on what QB is in, Sams and Jake Waters. With Waters they tend to focus on a spread offense, empty backfield, pass-first focus. “You’ve got to prepare for it all.”
• Pass defense has lagged after the first five games. Was talking with Tony Gibson about this earlier: Baylor and Texas Tech were strong up front and had pocket passers, “and they’re really good at it.” Kansas State is going to be more similar to who WVU succeeded against, Oklahoma State, Maryland, Oklahoma.
• Bowl contention: “A bowl game is important, but a fourth win is more important.” Doesn’t feel like it’s time yet to use a bowl game as motivation.
• Kansas State is better than their record, “and we’re better than our record.”
• “Extremely disappointed” with how WVU finished vs. Texas Tech.
• Thought the offensive line improved. “Texas Tech was giving us the run, giving us the numbers,” and WVU finally took advantage of that. Good rushing numbers.
• Kick return: Got pinned inside the 10 three times. If that’s the approach, you can either take the lane to the 25 easy or if you make the cutback and everyone makes their block there, there’s a lot more space. Tells returners not to take it out of the end zone if it’s more than a step or two.
Stephen J. Nesbitt:
, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.