Bits and Bytes: WVU - Kansas State

Prepare for the Thursday night WVU - Kansas State Big 12 football game with a final rundown of notes and items of interest.


Kansas State lists ten walk-ons who have made at least one start during their careers. Headed by B.J. Finney’s 48, the top four on the list have combined for 119 starts, and all ten have accepted a grand total of 148 starting assignments. How many starts do West Virginia’s current walk-ons account for?


The last time West Virginia lost a home football game on a Thursday came in 1926. The Mountaineers gave up 10 second half points to its first football rival, Washington & Jefferson, and lost 13-3 on Thursday, Nov. 25. Since that defeat, WVU is 13-0-1 at home. All time, WVU is 20-4-1 on its home grounds on Thursday.


West Virginia’s football record in November has been discussed in this column and other game previews on during the course of this season, and things in that regard haven’t improved as the Mountaineers have dropped both of their November games so far this season. K-State, on the other hand, has strung together an excellent record of achievement in the month of Thanksgiving.

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Since 1991, Kansas State is 52-19 (.732) in November, and has had 16 seasons with winning records in the month. The Wildcats are 1-1 so far this year. What’s the reason for that success?

One could argue that K-State is better built to withstand some of the tough weather conditions that can prevail in the year’s penultimate month. While blizzards and snowstorms aren’t common sights in the Big 12 in November, windy conditions are the norm across the Midwest and Southwest, and temperatures can be closer to those experienced in Chicago than those in Miami. Does the Wildcats’ vaunted mental toughness give them an advantage here?

Of course, scheduling plays a part in records over any selected span, but WVU hasn’t been crushed by the slate. Sure, there have been tough games, but contests against Iowa State and Kansas (plus any Big East game, which has become synonymous with (“much easier” for the current regime) should have resulted in a few more Mountaineer wins.


In the short four-game history of the series, West Virginia has never scored more than 23 points, and that total came in 1930. Since then, the Mountaineers have scored zero, 14 and 12 points against the Wildcats. That’s an average of 12.3 per game – not a total that will win many contests.


Over the last seven games, WVU wide receiver Daikiel Shorts has the same number of receptions (eight) as he did combined in the Towson and Maryland games. With the Mountaineers desperate for another receiving threat, Shorts must find a way to break out of the slide he has experienced for much of the season.


Since 1990, Kansas State has protected a halftime lead in 171 of its 176 games when leading at the half. That equates to a winning percentage of better than 97%. Kansas State has won 45 straight games when leading at the half, which is currently the second-longest active streak in the country.


Zero. While that number might be a bit misleading (specialists never count as starters, and WVU does have some solid contributors among its walk-ons), the Mountaineers don’t have any non-scholarship players on its current roster that have started a game.

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