Kansas State veteran head coach Bill Snyder, now entering his 25th season at the helm for the Wildcats, has been extremely successful vs. West Virginia, going 4-0 against the Mountaineers since they entered the Big 12 in 2012. In order to stretch that number out to five wins Snyder knows that Kansas State's defense will have to slow down West Virginia's experienced offense. Snyder, who has always put very sound defenses on the field, was very complimentary when discussing the Mountaineer's offense and what the unit does well.
"When you look at what they do and how frequently they do it and the statistics behind it they're a very balanced football team running it and throwing it," Snyder said. "They have experienced people in skill positions but they do a nice job up front protecting and you have to do a good job up front to run it and throw it. They have guys that have range and they like to throw the ball down field. Howard has the capacity to do all that and he's pretty good at keeping the ball alive. If you don't keep him contained then he can bounce out of there and find open receivers and they're a threat. Shell, Crawford and even McKoy are all pretty productive running backs. They have got a complete package."
The offense, which features eight players who started last year, is a big reason why the Mountaineers are one of two undefeated teams left in the Big 12 conference. And although West Virginia hasn't received much attention on the national stage or even received recognition as a Big 12 title contender, Snyder feels like this team is close and shared his overall thoughts on what he calls a good program.
"I have always seen (West Virginia) as being a good program," Snyder said. "We have had good fortune against them and we have always played in close ballgames there or here. The last one went to the wire and certainly the year before did. They have a lot talented young guys that run around. They run as well as anybody. They're a physical football team on both sides of the ball and I think Dana and his staff do a nice job of preparing and motivating them to play. They always seem to be highly motivated when they get on the field. I think they have an excellent chance (to compete for a Big 12 title)."
If the Mountaineers are able to defeat the Wildcats for the first time since joining the Big 12, then they will undoubtedly start to earn attention from the other coaches and teams around the league. Snyder, who is undeniably one of the best coaches in the Big 12 and potentially the country, won't make that an easy task, as the Mountaineers will again have their hands full with a very fundamentally sound, physical defense that is a staple in Bill Snyder coached football teams. Kansas State ranks No.5 in the country in points allowed per contest, allowing just 11 per game, and its offense is starting to catch its stride as well, scoring 63 and 35 points in its previous two games after a disappointing output against Stanford in the season opener.