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.

WATCH: WVU Football Coaches, Players Preview Senior Night Against Kansas State

West Virginia Football assistant coaches and student-athletes spoke with the media on Monday, looking ahead to the Thursday night contest against the Kansas State Wildcats in Morgantown.

Thursday's game will be Senior Night for the Mountaineers. West Virginia features a total of 19 seniors on this year's squad, 13 of which who transferred into the program from a previous university.

via WATCH: WVU Football Coaches, Players Preview Senior Night Agains – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Holgorsen: Upplerclassmen key to strong finish

After back-to-back fades the past two season, West Virginia is aiming to cross the finish line in style.

The Mountaineers get their chance Thursday night, trying to play spoiler against No. 12 Kansas State.

“As far as the team’s mentality, I think we’re going to be ready to play,” coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday. “I know we’re anxious to do our absolute best when it comes to finishing the year the appropriate way. I know we’ve lost a couple in a row right here, and the guys aren’t happy with that.”

Thanks to consecutive losses, West Virginia (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) is out of the conference title chase but hoping to improve its bowl profile.

via WV MetroNews – Holgorsen: Upplerclassmen key to strong finish.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers’ offense has been trending down

The Mountaineers play host to No. 12 Kansas State at 7 p.m. (Fox Sports 1) Thursday at Mountaineer Field. WVU (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) has seen its share of dignified defenses this season, but up until their loss to TCU two weeks ago, the WIldcats (8-2, 6-1) were leading the Big 12 in scoring defense and total defense. They now rank third in both, but by thin margins.

This is important for WVU because its powerful offense has dimmed as the passing offense has faltered. Trickett averaged 9.2 yards per attempt against Baylor, his second-best total of the season. It’s dropped each of the past three games: 7.9, 6.2 and 5.1.

There are explanations for the trend and for the worst averages of the season coming in each of the past two games. The first, Holgorsen said, is zone coverage, something each opponent has used with some assortment of success to keep WVU’s receivers from getting open down the field.

WVU has 43 pass plays covering 20 or more yards this season, but just six in the past three games. Trickett averages 11.69 yards per completion, but he’s been below that the past three games and had a season-low 6.89 yards against Texas.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers’ offense has been trending down.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU BASKETBALL: Mountaineers overcome shooting, move to 2-0

There was plenty to improve after Friday’s game. WVU had separate spells where it missed 13 consecutive shots and trailed Monmouth by 14 points on two occasions in the second half. The full-court press and the weight of 24 turnovers gradually wore down the Hawks. Forward Devin Williams fouled out three Monmouth players and he and point guard Juwan Staten scored the final 17 points to complete the comeback and win 64-54.

Sunday’s win wasn’t picturesque, either. After starting 4-for-7 shooting, WVU missed 14 straight shots, but only lost two points off the lead. The Mountaineers then made 8 of 10 shots, but the Leopards hung around and were down 28-22 when Daxter Miles made a 3-pointer to start an 11-2 run to close the half.

WVU led by double digits the rest of the way and got a boost from a pair of 3s from Jevon Carter. The Mountaineers never trailed after playing from behind for more than 21 minutes Friday.

“This is a lot closer to how we expected to play,” Staten said, “but we’re still not near where we want to be.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU BASKETBALL: Mountaineers overcome shooting, move to 2-0.

The Charleston Gazette | Smith could be in line for more carries

Perhaps a week of rest and recovery will change things, but there seems at least a chance that there could be a new order to West Virginia’s running back rotation this week.

Dreamius Smith is on a bit of a tear.

“He had his best game last week [at Texas],’’ Dana Holgorsen said of the 6-foot, 217-pound senior. “Against TCU, I can’t tell you he had his best game. It wasn’t. He got one run on them, but he didn’t play his best game. Last week, he played his best game.’’

In West Virginia’s 33-16 loss at Texas, Smith had 10 carries for 100 yards, including a 62-yard run. Most of his 70 yards a week earlier against TCU came on a 50-yard run. He also had 72 yards at Oklahoma State, including a 40-yard touchdown, and he had 60 the week before that against Baylor.

That’s 302 yards in four games for a running back who had just 109 in the first six. For much of those first six games, Smith was fourth and sometimes fifth in the rotation, always behind Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood and usually in the late-game mix with Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison.

via The Charleston Gazette | Smith could be in line for more carries.

The Charleston Gazette | Defense, rebounding carry WVU past Lafayette

Actually, the Mountaineers played far better offensively Sunday against Lafayette than they had two days earlier against Monmouth. And the final score attests to that. After having to rally from 14 down to beat Monmouth by 10 points, West Virginia never trailed, led by 14 in the first half and by 27 in the second, and routed Lafayette, 83-56.

But it was also another of those physical, grind-it-out games dominated by defense and rebounding. That the Mountaineers managed to interrupt with occasional spurts of offense was a bonus that, if West Virginia gets more of it, would be more than welcome.

“I think we’re better than what we were today, actually,’’ Huggins said after his team improved to 2-0 in front of a crowd of 6,089 at the Coliseum. “I think we shoot it better than what we shot today.’’

That would be good, of course, considering that the Mountaineers shot just 38.3 percent. Then again, considering that West Virginia suffered through yet another prolonged dry spell in this one — 14 consecutive missed shots in the first half — it wasn’t as bad as the numbers might indicate. Subtract that five-minute stretch and WVU shot a decent 46.3 percent.

“Once Jevon [Carter] and Daxter [Miles] get comfortable and stop wondering whether it’s a good shot, they’ll make shots for us,’’ Huggins said. “Juwan [Staten] was comfortable carrying us today. Somebody will make some.’’

via The Charleston Gazette | Defense, rebounding carry WVU past Lafayette.