Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Late-season swoon overcomes Mountaineers

There is a chill in the air, there are leaves on the ground and West Virginia is a team raking up losses at the end of the season. Apart from that, the Mountaineers aren’t showing many signs of a team in late fall.

They are instead in another freefall, one extended by last week’s loss to No. 11 Kansas State and one plagued by problems that ought spring up in spring football. This is why the head coach summons adjectives like “horrible,” “garbage,” “horrendous” and the kind-by-comparison “very below-average” to describe what he witnessed.

“We didn’t get the job done, and that’s on me,” Dana Holgorsen said. “I’ve got to do something different. I’ve got to do something better.”

True, all of it, and certainly he’s drawn his share of criticism for when, where and how he decides to kick field goals or go for first downs on fourth down or calls timeouts or just accept the score on the board and head to the locker room for halftime, to say nothing of that meaningful matter of having his team ready to play.

Yet it’s also not worth arguing that he’d be helped if his players gave him some help, a tall task against the string of opponents the Mountaineers have played, but one that’s made easier if they make what are or were or should be routine plays.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Late-season swoon overcomes Mountaineers.

The Charleston Gazette | Staten leads WVU to tournament title

If West Virginia discovered nothing else while spending nearly a week in the Caribbean, it was that it might have the makings of a pretty good basketball team.

Oh, sure, it learned a few more things, but in general that was the lesson.

Then again, it was nothing that Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins hadn’t been saying all along, both privately and publicly.

“The coaches have had us pumped up from the start of the season, just letting us know that we’re a special team and that we really have a chance to do something special,’’ said Juwan Staten, perhaps the most special of the Mountaineers. “This was our first chance to be seen by the world and our first chance to prove ourselves.’’

Well, West Virginia did that in a big way Sunday night, finishing off a run through the Puerto Rico Tip-off tournament. And this was easily the most impressive of the three victories here at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, a wild 78-68 win over Connecticut.

via The Charleston Gazette | Staten leads WVU to tournament title.

Rifle Ends Fall Semester Undefeated – WVU Athletics

The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team defeated Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) foe No. 13 NC State, 4714-4586, today, at the WVU Rifle Range.

The Mountaineers (8-0, 6-0 GARC) retain their perfect record in conference play as they head into a break in their season.

“The team has really put a lot of hard work in all semester,” said coach Jon Hammond. “This past week we prepared well, but it was definitely a balance of getting some rest and also preparing for the match that helped.”

WVU won both disciplines in today’s match, outshooting the Wolfpack in smallbore, 2340-2263, and air rifle, 2374-2323.

The team’s smallbore score matched a season high last shot against TCU in the first match of the season.

via Rifle Ends Fall Semester Undefeated – WVU Athletics.

Wrestling Takes Fifth at Navy Classic – WVU Athletics

Michael Morales took home the title at 141 pounds and Zeke Moisey claimed third at 125 pounds to lead the West Virginia University wrestling team to a fifth-place finish at the Navy Classic at Wesley Brown Field House in Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday.

The Mountaineers finished with 84.5 team points while No. 23 Chattanooga took home top honors with 108.5 points. The Mocs edged out Princeton, who took second with 106.0 points, followed by No. 24 Ohio in third with 105.5 points. No.19 Wisconsin used three first-place finishes to take fourth with 105.0 points. WVU’s fifth-place rank is an improvement from last season when the Mountaineers took ninth at the event.

“I’m proud of the way our team competed today,” said first-year head coach Sammie Henson. “We are making strides every week. We are become a close team and there’s a lot of excitement within the Mountaineer wrestling family. Thanks to the parents, family and support staff who made the trip to Annapolis this weekend.”

via Wrestling Takes Fifth at Navy Classic – WVU Athletics.

Blocking Effort Leads Volleyball Past Baylor – WVU Athletics

Using a season-high 18 blocks, the West Virginia University volleyball team capped its home slate – and senior middle blocker Evyn McCoy’s career – with its second consecutive Big 12 sweep, taking a 3-0 victory from Baylor in set scores of 25-22, 25-21 and 26-24 on Saturday evening at the WVU Coliseum.

Following the match the Mountaineers (15-13, 5-9) paid tribute to McCoy, the squad’s lone graduating senior. Her teammates gave her quite the sendoff, winning their second game in a row following a five-game skid and downing Baylor (14-16, 4-11) on their home court for the first time in program history.

“I thought we did a good job as a team sticking with it and competing tonight,” said WVU coach Jill Kramer. “We were tied with Baylor going into this, and both of us were in a spot where it was time for us to go and make something happen. Before the match we talked about – we’ve talked about a lot this week – we’ve never beat Baylor at home. That is a first for us again. We have not, until tonight, won on Senior Night in the past four years. Those were big accomplishments for us.”

via Blocking Effort Leads Volleyball Past Baylor – WVU Athletics.

GAME RECAP: WVU Wins Puerto Rico Tip-Off

West Virginia looked strong throughout the first half as they quickly grabbed the lead and held on tight. In fact at no point throughout the entire game was UConn able to overcome the deficit, they trailed for every single second of the game.

To do this to such a strong and experienced team the Mountaineers had to limit Husky leader Ryan Boatright. In the first half the Mountaineers restricted the leading scorer and rebounder to just 7 points.

In addition the Mountaineers had to have a strong offensive showing themselves. They got that from WV big man Jonathon Holton who already reached double digits with 6 minutes left in the first half. Juwan State would be another big contributor and have his biggest performance so far this season reaching 21 points.

Prior to today's game the UConn assistant coach's talked about the need to improve ball handling against the notorious full court pressure of the Mountaineers. The lack of time to prepare for the game showed for the Huskies as the pressure down court made many UConn players uncomfortable.

West Virginia managed to force 19 turnovers.

via GAME RECAP: WVU Wins Puerto Rico Tip-Off – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas State QB finds mentor in Collin Klein

Jake Waters was hanging out in the football facility at Kansas State one day over the summer when the current Kansas State quarterback bumped into a former Kansas State quarterback.

“Well,” Collin Klein said, “I’m a coach now.”

The 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist who was 21-5 as a starter and led the Wildcats to a No. 1 ranking, a Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl his final season, would become a defensive quality control assistant and the assistant director of recruiting.

Waters was thrilled. Replacing Klein was one of the main reasons he picked Kansas State over Penn State. He suddenly had a chance to replicate Klein.

“It’s incredible,” Waters said. “I was probably the happiest person when they hired him. He was in the offense for four or five years and he knows it like the back of his hand. For me to be able to pick his brain, I’m probably annoying to him just because I’m trying to get so much out of him knowing what he did for Kansas State and how he played and how much he knew.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas State QB finds mentor in Collin Klein.

The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU and the troubled Miramar pipeline

Most WVU football fans know of the recruiting pipeline between Morgantown and Miramar High in Florida.

What they might not know is there’s a possibile clog.

There has been news of an athletic oil spill reported all over south Florida. It’s been reported in the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. It’s been reported on all of the television and radio stations there.

Miramar High, a football power, was taken out of the playoffs by its school principal after violations were discovered. And the story is absolutely peppered with connections to WVU.

Let’s start with that principal, Maria Formoso, who wrote the following letter directed to Miramar’s football parents:

“On October 30, 2014, Miramar High School self-reported impermissible benefits to the [Florida High School Athletic Association]. Based on additional allegations and upon further investigation, we will be vacating our seeding in the Florida High School Football State Championship. The matter continues to be under investigation by the school board police.”

via The Charleston Gazette | Mitch Vingle: WVU and the troubled Miramar pipeline.

West Virginia football: Trickett aims to make an indelible memory in home finale – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

To Clint Trickett, a hometown kid, this is a bittersweet week. He spent many Saturdays during his childhood at Milan Puskar Stadium, when his father, Rick, was West Virginia's offensive line coach from 2001-06.

Trickett's dream to quarterback the Mountaineers faded when he received little interest from West Virginia during his recruitment. Instead, Trickett followed his father to Florida State and spent three years competing against Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel and Jameis Winston.

When Geno Smith left West Virginia after the 2012 season, Trickett saw his chance. He would call his decision to transfer a "no-brainer."

And now, so soon, it's time to say goodbye.

via West Virginia football: Trickett aims to make an indelible memory in home finale – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kansas State Preview – WVU Athletics

Snyder has won 185 football games heading into Thursday night’s game at West Virginia, including nine 10-win seasons – his most recent one coming in 2012 when the Wildcats finished first in the Big 12 and played in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

When you study Kansas State (7-2, 5-1) you don’t need to look at rushing or passing yardage, or even yardage allowed; there are just two stat categories that you really need to look at – penalties and turnovers.

This year, Snyder’s Wildcats are No. 2 in the country in fewest penalty yards with 290 and are No. 5 in the country in turnovers lost with eight (three fumbles and five interceptions).

“They don’t do anything to hurt themselves,” said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “They don’t have many negative plays. They’re just an efficient unit.”

via Kansas State Preview – WVU Athletics.

Mountaineers Earn Big 12 Academic Honors – WVU Athletics

Four members of the West Virginia University volleyball team were honored by the Big 12 for their academic achievements on Tuesday. Jordan Anderson, Nikki Attea and Hannah Sackett were named to the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball First Team, while Anna Panagiotakopoulos earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team accolades as announced by the league on Tuesday.

In total, 51 student-athletes were honored with 41 first team selections. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. In addition to the GPA standards, student-athletes must have participated in at least 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshman and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence.

“These young women have done an outstanding job of managing their time in what I consider to be one of the toughest travel schedules in the country – in any sport,” said coach Jill Kramer. “I am very proud of their effort and their attention to detail, both on the court and in the classroom. A special thanks to our academic advisor, Emily Patton, for her time and mentorship to these players as well.”

via Mountaineers Earn Big 12 Academic Honors – WVU Athletics.

Luck Announces 2015 Baseball Schedule – WVU Athletics

West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced the 54-game 2015 Mountaineer baseball schedule, featuring 24 games against 2014 NCAA Tournament teams as well as 22 homes games in the team’s new ballpark.

“The opening of the new ballpark is not only exciting for West Virginia University, but also for the North Central West Virginia community, and we look forward to ushering in a new era of WVU baseball at Monongalia County Ballpark,” Luck said.

The Mountaineers will square off against five teams who played in the Super Regionals and three opponents who were in the College World Series. Additionally, 14 opponents finished in the Top 100 of the final RPI.

“The schedule that Randy Mazey has put together features some of the top talent in the nation,” Luck said. “The Big 12 had a banner season with five teams making the tournament last year, and we are pleased to host two of the teams that made it to the College World Series.”

via Luck Announces 2015 Baseball Schedule – WVU Athletics.

WV MetroNews – Season’s finish will reveal how much ground WVU made up

For teams not lucky or talented enough to be in the College Football Playoff waiting room, November becomes a month for reconfigured missions.

Their championship dreams dissolved, and in many cases, even their next-in-line goals already smashed, these also-rans face the cold completion of the season as a trial of conviction. West Virginia has suffered hard fades the past two seasons, and its current two-game slide sure makes for a repeating-history storyline.

And that makes Thursday night’s showdown against No. 12 Kansas State so crucial.

Crucial to the Mountaineers’ upperclassmen who have gone 2-8 in November during three Big 12 seasons. Crucial for bowl plans that could ascend to the Alamo or settle for the Liberty. Crucial to coach Dana Holgorsen for adding/subtracting dollars and maybe years to an inevitable contract extension. Crucial to the legacy of a season that once was emboldened with we’re-back swagger.

via WV MetroNews – Season’s finish will reveal how much ground WVU made up.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Holgorsen trying to protect Trickett

Lost beneath the many words heaped upon the loss to Texas and the time that’s passed since was West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen saying he’s had to call plays recently that protect his quarterback.

At his weekly press conference Tuesday, Holgorsen said he’s doing it — more runs and quicker passes to keep defenders away from Clint Trickett — because of the opposition and because of the situation behind his starter.

“When you have a defensive front that gets after it like those two teams (TCU and Texas) did, we have to be careful with how we call plays to protect him,” Holgorsen said. “That’s not different than any other team I have been on with a quarterback that we have to protect. He is our starting quarterback, and we don’t have a very experienced backup, so we have to be careful in protecting him.

“I think everybody tries to protect their guys, so we try to figure out what Clint can do right, and I think his best attribute as far as being a quarterback is understanding what we are trying to do with the ball and make it happen.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Holgorsen trying to protect Trickett.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas State walk-ons make an impression

The topic is irresistible as it relates to Kansas State football because it personifies everything the program has come to represent under its iconic head coach.

In his 23 seasons in charge of the Wildcats, Bill Snyder has turned about 200 walk-ons into scholarship players. Fifty-eight players on the current roster were or are walk-ons, including sixteen players on the 50-player two deep.

“It’s about technique and being tough and playing hard and they do an unbelievably great job of that. They teach great technique and play disciplined,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “The thing that makes him so special is just the discipline his entire team plays with. They’re program guys. They’ve got a lot of walk-ons who just do the right thing each and every day. It’s pretty neat.”

The 12th-ranked Wildcats, who visit Mountaineer Field for Thursday’s 7 p.m. game on Fox Sports 1, have covered the landscape through the years.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas State walk-ons make an impression.

The Charleston Gazette | Dave Hickman: Quite a schedule for WVU

Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind:

West Virginia plays No. 12 Kansas State Thursday night at Mountaineer Field.

It is the fifth WVU opponent this season ranked among the top 15 in the country. Of those five, K-State is the first one that hasn’t reached the top five either before or after playing WVU. The Wildcats were merely No. 7 at one point.

Think about that for a moment.

Five of West Virginia’s first 11 opponents are or were ranked in the Top 10. Depending upon the bowl matchup, that number could grow to six of 13 by season’s end.

Just for the record, WVU has never played more than three top-15 teams in any season. That has actually happened a few more times than I expected. Just skimming through the records, it appears that West Virginia has faced three teams ranked that high 11 other times, including three times in the 1950s and once — from 1992 through 1994 — in three consecutive seasons. But in the past 20 years it has happened just twice, in 2001 and again two years ago.

Not sure what any of that means, but I was curious. And now I’m not.

via The Charleston Gazette | Dave Hickman: Quite a schedule for WVU.

The Charleston Gazette | K-State QB dangerous, like Klein

No one will ever confuse Jake Waters with Kansas State’s last high-profile quarterback.

At just 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he’s not exactly Optimus Klein.

There are, however, similarities between Waters and Collin Klein. And that’s something that has to concern West Virginia as it prepares for Thursday night’s game against No. 12 Kansas State at Mountaineer Field.

“It’s a little different body type, but both athletic,’’ West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday. “Collin Klein was just a smart player who was big.’’

Indeed, the last time Kansas State was in Morgantown, Klein was the biggest reason the Wildcats routed West Virginia. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder completed 19 of his 21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns, ran for four more scores and generally manhandled the Mountaineers in a 55-14 K-State win.

via The Charleston Gazette | K-State QB dangerous, like Klein.

Staten Named to Wooden Award List – WVU Athletics

In terms of conferences, the Big 12 leads the way with 10 picks, followed by the ACC (8), and the Big Ten (7), Pac-12 (7), and SEC (7). The American, the Missouri Valley, and WCC had two picks apiece, while the Atlantic-10, Big East, Horizon, Sun Belt, and Ivy League each had one selection.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy's. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players for the midseason list in early January. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed on the ballot and submitted to voters prior to the NCAA Tournament and voting will take into account play during the opening rounds of the tournament. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.

via Staten Named to Wooden Award List – WVU Athletics.

WVU Women’s Basketball Holds Off Seton Hall 89-87

West Virginia held off a hot Seton Hall squad Monday night for an 89-87 victory despite the Pirates shooting nearly 50 percent from 3-point range in the second half. 

The Mountaineers got key performances from Bria Holmes, Averee Fields and Teana Muldrow along the way, while Seton Hall's Tabatha Richardson-Smith caught fire with 32 points on 7-of-12 shooting from behind the arc. 

Holmes led the way with 36 points, two shy of the program record mark for a single game. Fields had a double double with 21 points and 15 rebounds and Muldrow finished just shy of her own double double, contributing 19 and nine. 

via WVU Women's Basketball Holds Off Seton Hall 89-87 – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WATCH: WVU Coach Holgorsen Weekly Press Conference

Watch West Virginia Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen address the media prior to the Mountaineers' match-up with Kansas State at home on Thursday night.

via WATCH: WVU Coach Holgorsen Weekly Press Conference – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.