TB kicked the tires on the ‘Eers, and believe it or not, this time he actually picks the Wildcats! (S&P+ and even Vegas are with TB on this one). Also, West Virginia’s offense, currently dead last in the Big 12 in points per game, total yards, and in rushing yards per game, is not likely to provide the Kansas State defense much of a challenge. (Nathan Enserro, K-State Collegian).
The ‘Eers are experiencing growing pains with a new coaching staff, and right now, West Virginia desperately wants something—anything—to salvage the season. Neal Brown responded to the collective frustration in Morgantown with a promise to right the ship. Let’s hope that project takes longer than a week. (WVUnite, The Smoking Musket)
West Virginia’s arrival in Manhattan is a bit of a homecoming for former Wildcat player/assistant Blake Seiler. He is now the inside linebackers coach for the ‘Eers, and when he left, he did so with Chris Klieman’s blessing. That said, Klieman isn’t sharing any details about current players or strategy with Seiler, who “knows—offensively and defensively—our personnel so well.” (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury).
The other big news around this game is of course the new/alternate helmets the Wildcats will sport for this game. The script Cats helmet has been a bit controversial, but very popular with the players. It’s also gone viral in at least one way: it put in an appearance on SportsCenter:
The brouhaha over the helmet is primarily about the tension between the traditions Kansas State created and adopted in the Bill Snyder era versus Klieman’s desire to build a more modern program. Klieman’s philosophy isn’t that different from Snyder’s own, but he’s trying to build a process-oriented culture while respecting everything that came before (Enserro, Collegian).
One of the players who has bought into Klieman’s mantra is freshman star Joshua Youngblood. He’s had to make a number of adjustment to life and to to football, but the big one might be adjusting to the severe cold weather in Manhattan.
Finally, academic accolades are coming this team’s way too. Center Adam Holtorf (3.96, agribusiness) and wide receiver Dalton Schoen (3.78, mechanical engineering) have been named to the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 team. Holtorf, who made the list for the third straight season, is also a finalist for the 2019 Campbell Trophy, and a National Football Foundation National Scholar Athlete. Schoen is a two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.
Kansas State takes on Kansas in this season’s second Sunflower Showdown. First serve is scheduled for 1 PM tomorrow afternoon. The teams are tied for seventh place in the Big 12, with the VolleyCats taking the first match earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, Brynn Carlson (4.00, nutrition) was named to the first team of the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 team, while Peyton Williams (3.94, anthropology) was named to the second team. This is the first such honor for both players.