Kansas State return man Morgan Burns was the biggest impact player of this game, notching two big time returns - one for a 97-yard touchdown - that decided this contest. Dana Holgorsen gave credit to Sean Snyder, who is responsible for K-State's special teams, and said he had never been a part of a game like this where special teams made such a profound difference in the outcome.
Holgorsen said kicking away from Burns would have played right into Kansas State's hands, as the Wildcats have been able to exploit teams who have employed that strategy against them this year.
The head coach touted his coverage unit for how well it had performed coming into this game, but made no mistake in saying that was a major reason West Virginia was unable to come out on top. The Wildcats averaged 52.2 yards per kickoff return today.
Backup quarterback and converted wide receiver Kody Cook came into the game when Joe Hubener was injured and lit up the West Virginia defense at times. Holgorsen said the Wildcats' offensive strategy did not change with Cook coming into the game, but their execution got much better with him. He said he congratulated Cook after the game on a gritty effort.
West Virginia was able to have success on the ground today, especially with running back Wendell Smallwood, but Holgorsen said there were times his team had to go away from the run because of the looks the defense was giving.
With a stacked box to stop the run, West Virginia was almost dared to pass the ball, which it did 42 times. Skyler Howard completed just 19 of those attempts for 281 yards and one touchdown.