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HALFTIME: West Virginia 21, Kansas State 0

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You can’t blame the defense.

Pictured: not a first down, that’s for damn sure.
Pictured: not a first down, that’s for damn sure.
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

You’d think there might be some criticism, some anger, some level of blame that you could lay on the Wildcat defense right now.

But at halftime of a game in which West Virginia leads K-State 21-0, the simple fact of the matter is that it’s that defense which has prevented this from being an even more humiliating rout.

A.J. Parker has an interception. Jordan Mittie has both a fumble recovery and a big sack. Only a few plays have been absolute failures on the part of the defense, and only one of those resulted directly in a score as Parker got beaten without help on an 82-yard touchdown pass from Will Grier to David Sills V. The Wildcats have done a fairly good job of at least forcing West Virginia into third-and-fivish positions, although they’ve only forced one punt.

The defense hasn’t been able to get any pressure on Grier, and yet they’ve still kept the Mountaineer offense relatively contained. The problem isn’t the defense, even if they haven’t been perfect.

It’s the offense, which has been offensive. K-State has four first downs, none of which were converted on third down plays. K-State has been forced to punt five times; the sixth time they faced third down, they went for it on fourth and inches and called a mind-numblingly stupid sweep play.

Here’s the horrible part: Skylar Thompson has been accurate; he’s 7-10. But those seven completions have only earned K-State 57 yards, which is 37 more yards than the Wildcats have managed on the ground.

The only glimmer of hope here is that West Virginia does what West Virginia does in the second half against K-State and wilts enough to let the Cats make up a 21-point deficit. Unless the lack of pressure on Grier has been a deliberate attempt to save energy for the second half, we’re not seeing it.