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Kansas State 55, WVU 14: Purple Reign in Morgantown

Despite the obvious and glaring weakness on defense, I bought into West Virginia.

The offense looked unstoppable and somehow it looked like the Mountaineers would just outscore everyone.

Oh how we were all fooled. WVU fans are used to disappointment, but no one expected such a collapse just two weeks after beating Texas in Austin.

But Kansas State rolled into town expecting a tough fight and instead cruised to a 55-14 thumping in front of 60,010 fans — however there was just a smattering of them left when the final seconds ticked off the clock.

WVU fans were willing to forgive last week’s loss at Texas Tech, but Saturday night’s loss was embarrassing.

Give Kansas State credit, though.

The Wildcats shut down WVU’s potent offense and picked off two Geno Smith passes (his first two of the season). Smith’s lock on the Heisman Trophy all but evaporated, and now became Collin Klein’s to lose following his seven-touchdown performance.

While Kansas State proved it is a legitimate contender and now has a clear path to winning the Big 12, WVU coach Dana Holgorsen has some serious soul searching to do.

He basically ran off respected defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel to bring in Joe DeForest, and it has been an utter failure. It’s difficult to jettison a coach after just one season, but this is without a doubt the worst defense in Mountaineer history. Maybe the talent is limited, but the coaches have not made enough adjustments to show any positive signs.

Holgorsen may give his defensive coaches another season to get it turned around, but that might be a mistake. Sometimes cleaning house is a good thing.

The coach must also look hard at his offensive game plan. For the second week in a row, the offense has not gotten into a rhythm and the offensive line is not good enough to hang with the strong defensive lines of the Big 12.

While the opponents are much better, this two-week run is much like last year when the Mountaineers lost to Syracuse and Louisville over a three-week span.

It’s time to accept there won’t be a BCS Bowl or a Big 12 championship for the Mountaineers this season.

Now WVU gets a much-needed week off to try to straighten some things out. It starts with a coaching staff that seemed to read too much of their own press clippings.

If they are searching for some answers of how to fix things, maybe they can call K-State coach Bill Snyder. There’s a coach who knows how to win.

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