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HALFTIME: West Virginia 28, Kansas State 20 — Squandered Opportunities Galore

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How to lose football games in which you could have had a 42-0 lead.

This? This is Matt McCrane’s record-breaking field goal.
This? This is Matt McCrane’s record-breaking field goal.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite creating four turnovers and forcing West Virginia’s potent offense to punt three times in the first half, Kansas State heads into the locker room trailing the Mountaineers 28-20, and West Virginia gets the ball to start the second half.

West Virginia’s first four drives ended in either three-and-outs or turnovers before West Virginia ever achieved a first down. K-State’s average starting field position on their first five drives: the West Virginia 39 yard line.

All K-State managed on those five drives was two Matthew McCrane field goals, and while the defense did force a third turnover and a third punt later in the half, they largely reverted to their usual form, exacerbated by the defensive line’s complete inability to tackle Mountaineer quarterback Will Grier despite having him wrapped up for sacks.

As a result, a game which K-State could legitimately be leading 42-0 or worse just by making the plays they should make heads into halftime with the Mountaineers leading by eight.

What offense K-State has mustered has been keyed by Dalvin Warmack -- described by Anish Shroff on the telecast as “released from Witness Protection” — who has 97 yards on 9 carries, including two big runs which set up K-State’s two Winston Dimel touchdowns.

McCrane’s two kicks gave him the K-State career record for made field goals with 55, surpassing the great Martin Gramatica.

The secondary is actually having a good game, by the way; those almost-sacks have all been a result of great coverage, and some great pass breakups have happened. Grier managed to beat them four times, but once was the direct result of a poor coaching decision to run a corner blitz and the other three were the direct result of missed sack opportunities. Grier has 275 yards passing; 191 of them are directly attributable to missed sacks and the ill-timed corner blitz.

We’ll have more after the game. For now, sit here and be angry. You should be.