No. 13 WVU prepared for No. 4 Kansas State

By Cody Schuler

West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen was not pleased with the Mountaineers’ play in their 49-14 loss to Texas Tech Saturday.

“I am not happy with how we played on all three sides of the ball. We didn’t execute very well, we didn’t coach very well and we didn’t play with very much effort,” he said.

Though it is easy to cast blame on the players, Holgorsen said that the team as a whole – including the coaches – was responsible for the loss.

“One thing that I tell the team all the time is that we are all in this together – coaches and players. Anything that I say in reference to a player, I am making reference to coaching as well,” he said.

“We didn’t handle the situation well. You can spin it a lot of different ways if you want to, but bottom line is we didn’t get the job done.”

There’s no time for West Virginia to dwell on the recent loss, as Kansas State comes to Morgantown Saturday. Ranked No. 4 in the BCS poll, the Wildcats are the only remaining undefeated team in the Big 12.

One aspect of the Wildcats’ game Holgorsen said caught his attention is their balance and team discipline.

“They are probably the most disciplined team I have seen in a long time on all three sides of the ball. They are extremely disciplined,” he said.

“They don’t make mistakes on any side of the ball. They play with tremendous effort, and they play extremely physical football. They have a lot of experience. They are as smart of a football team as I have seen in some time.”

The Wildcats are quarterbacked by senior Collin Klein, who is considered alongside Geno Smith as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy.

Holgorsen said he hopes to quell the running game of the 6-foot-5 Klein, who has rushed for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

“Collin Klein is a tremendous football player. You watch him on tape, and you have to stop the run because between him and their running back, (junior) John Hubert, they rush for 200-some yards a game,” he said.

“We will work hard on trying to stop the run, and we want to make them pass.”

The Mountaineers suffered a string of injuries in the Texas Tech game, most of which Holgorsen classified as day-to-day.

Redshirt junior cornerback Brodrick Jenkins will miss Saturday’s contest with what Holgorsen called a “slight cartilage tear,” but the injury does not appear to be serious, and according to Holgorsen, “he will be back.”

Holgorsen did not address the status of redshirt junior Stedman Bailey, who suffered what appeared to be an ankle sprain last week. What Holgorsen did do, though, was announce that true freshman wide receiver Tavares Copeland will start this week – the first of his career.

“(Copeland) will start this week. You guys can go ahead and write that down. He has been getting better and better every week,” Holgorsen said.

“We got him in the (Texas Tech) game because we didn’t like what we were looking at, so we made the decision to play him and put him in.”

Holgorsen said Copeland fits in with his theme of playing any player who he believes is ready to contribute – regardless of experience.

“I wish we would have forced the envelope on (Copeland) a little bit earlier. In camp, we tried, but he just didn’t pick up on it. The more he played and the more he was here, the better he has gotten, so we are going to play him,” he said.

“If there are any other freshmen that step up this week, then we are going to play them. I have said it from the very beginning – I don’t care who you are, you are going to play.”

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