Mountaineer defense shredded in 55-14 loss to Kansas State
Kansas State's Tyler Lockett is brought down by West Virginia's Karl Joseph during the second quarter.
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The nightmare continued for West Virginia on Saturday night.
The Mountaineers' defense was shredded in every way imaginable as Colin Klein and Kansas State scored on their first eight possessions on the way to a 55-14 blowout.
Geno Smith threw two second half interceptions, breaking a pass completion streak that dated back to last December, and did not get his team over the 50-yard line until halfway through the third quarter.
Right about that time, a line of red tail lights snaked away from Milan Puskar Stadium as the program's worst loss at home in decades played out into the chilly night.
If the team's 49-14 loss a week earlier at Texas Tech was thought to perhaps be an anomaly, Saturday assured it will be a long first year in the Big 12 Conference.
The only solace? West Virginia is off next week before returning Nov. 3 to play TCU at home.
In the first half, Klein rushed for scores twice from the 1-yard line and once from the 8-yard line, and he threw a touchdown pass of 10 yards.
He passed at will, rolling up 226 first-half yards, missing only when he overthrew a receiver, and that wasn't often.
In the second half, he threw touchdown passes of 21 yards and 20 yards, and he ran for another 1-yard touchdown.
By game's end, he completed 19-of-21 passes for 323 yards and rushed for 41 yards.
He also most assuredly leap-frogged Smith in the race for the Heisman Trophy.
Smith and his offense could not get past the 50-yard line until the 7:23 mark of the third quarter.
Smith threw his first interception of the season on his first pass attempt of the second half.
Arthur Brown picked it off at the West Virginia 24, tipped by his teammate, ending a streak that dated back to Dec. 1, 2011.
Klein turned around to score in two plays, putting his team up 38-7.
Klein led another scoring drive, and Smith turned it over again, throwing into the hands of Ty Zimmerman.
Smith finished with 21-of-32 completions for 143 yards and two interceptions.
The West Virginia offense was hamstrung by getting just three first half possessions, but did little with them.
They got off 20 plays for 74 total yards as the Wildcats' ball control style used 20 minutes, 34 seconds of possession time, compared to just 9:26 for West Virginia.
The boos rained down from the metal stands as West Virginia's offense punted for a third time, with less than eight minutes to play in the first half.
Tavon Austin briefly breathed life into the team, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a score with 4:13 to play.
But that brought the defense back on the field.
Klein went 78 yards on eight plays in 3:50 on a drive that included a 44-yard gain on a deep ball to Tyler Lockett.
First Published October 20, 2012 10:22 pm