By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said this week that some improvement is seen in West Virginia’s defensive unit.
“We have some things to fix, but all are correctable,” he said. “Mentally and physically, it is a lot of strength and what you have to do is make sure that each and every day you prepare the same way. Give the same amount of physical effort as you would mental effort. And that you give the same concentration throughout the game.
“If we prepare all week and they string effort-wise, both mentally and physically, and they take that to the game we’ll be a lot more successful.”
DeForest noted that players saw on tape what corrections were needed to be corrected going into a game, both effort-wise and technique-wise.
That was a major problem last week in the disappointing 49-14 beating at Texas Tech. But it’s another challenge this week in Saturday’s Big 12 clash.
The Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) oppose No. 3-ranked Kansas State (6-0, 3-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium.
WVU remains a slight favorite.
DeForest said they will see how the starters perform against the Wildcats. If any changes in the lineup are needed, another player will be asked to step up as a replacement.
That could even be a redshirt freshman or true freshman.
He explained that you see improvement in some areas, day to day and week to week, but not in all the areas where WVU needs to improve.
“And, unfortunately, there comes a time we don’t have time. It’s got to be immediate and it’s got to be fixed as a mindset,” DeForest explained.
The 17th-ranked Mountaineer’s defense is giving up 37.3 points and 498.5 yards per game.
Offensively, Kansas State is averaging 40.8 points and 427.5 yards per game. They’re averaging 248.5 yards rushing and only 179.5 yards passing per game.
The Wildcats are coached by veteran Bill Snyder, whose record in his 21st year is 165-83-1. That includes 10-3 last season.
WVU and Kansas State are 1-1 in two previous meetings, both in Morgantown. The Mountaineers won 38-7 in 1930 and lost 19-0 in 1931.
Here are the teams the Wildcats defeated so far this season: Missouri State 59-13, Miami 52-13, North Texas 35-21, Oklahoma 24-19, Kansas 56-16, and Iowa State 27-21.