Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/22/12
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) A battle for Big 12 supremacy left Kansas State and West Virginia heading in opposite directions. No. 4 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) is rolling through a tough conference schedule and turning away all challenges. The latest victim: the Mountaineers. "I'm very proud of our guys and how we've been able to hang together in adversity and prosperity," quarterback Collin Klein said. "And we just have to keep moving forward." That means returning home for games against No. 15 Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1) on Saturday and Oklahoma State on Nov. 3. Kansas State went 3-0 over a four-week stretch of road games that included wins at No. 8 Oklahoma and Iowa State. The Wildcats seem to be improving with each game. West Virginia? Things are going downhill fast. The offense is broken down, the defense is nonexistent and the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) have plummeted from No. 5 to No. 25 in The Associated Press poll in two weeks. Against West Virginia, the Wildcats made it look easiest of all, scoring on their first eight possessions and winning 55-14 Saturday night. "I think we all felt comfortable," Klein said. "The coaches did a great job of building a game plan and putting us in positions to succeed." That Kansas State succeeded on offense wasn't big news. The Mountaineers had surrendered an average of 53 points over its past four games, and they let Klein throw for a career-high 323 yards and three touchdowns and run for four scores. What was surprising was how West Virginia's offense - so explosive in its first five games behind Geno Smith - came up with a dud for the second straight week. Kansas State has not allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points all season. And the Wildcats forced Smith to throw his first two interceptions of the year. Smith now has been limited to a touchdown pass apiece against two straight solid defenses after picking apart teams such as Marshall, Baylor and Texas, all among the worst defenses in the country. "I'm not going to sit here and point fingers at anyone else," Smith said. "I'm the leader of this team, the leader of the offense, and as an offense we didn't do enough. Those guys score points, so what? We've got to go out there and match it, and that's our job. And as an offense you can't be worry about what's going on with the defense." That will be up to West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and defensive coordinator Joe DeForest. They will use a bye week to see what repairs can be made to a defense that has yet to improve in any phase. Holgorsen and DeForest insist there's nothing wrong with the way the 3-4 defense is drawn up. They just want execution and overall effort. In the least, they would like a leader to emerge from an inexperienced group. "It's hard, because you want someone to step up, grab the team and say Come on, follow me,'" DeForest said. "But we don't have that on defense. And until we do, we'll struggle. It's up to us as coaches to try to find leaders, but it's up to the kids to be leaders. You can't always lead as a coach; you've got to have someone from within to pull them with you. It's part of it." West Virginia will need to win the rest of its games, starting with TCU at home on Nov. 3, to keep alive any hope of a BCS bowl bid. And after one of West Virginia's worst home losses in school history, attention about the Heisman Trophy shifted from Smith and toward Klein. That race still has a lot of playing out to do, but Klein's leadership is turning more heads. "He played a great game," Smith said. "Hats off to that guy and their team."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Enes Kanter wants to become American citizen

Report: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing set for July

Baseball may soon enter an era of two-way players

Kyrie Irving: Cavs were served ‘slice of humble pie’

Report: NFL teams question Darrelle Revis’ commitment to the game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zaza Pachulia partially blames Gregg Popovich for his family receiving death threats

Sens coach Guy Boucher: We know Pens 'are the better team'

IndyCar drivers Dixon, Franchitti robbed at gunpoint in Taco Bell drive-thru

Fans in new Raiders Vegas stadium will be able to place bets on mobile devices?

Luke Walton not stressing LaVar Ball, cites his dad's 'big personality'

Ex-motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden dies after collision in Italy

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker