Mountaineers Collapse Again

Article excerpt

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two weeks after registering one of the biggest wins in school history, West Virginia's first season in the Big 12 appears to be on the verge of a monumental collapse.

The Mountaineers suffered their second consecutive humiliating defeat, this time a 55-14 trouncing against No. 4 Kansas State on Saturday night before 60,101 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.

A week ago, West Virginia lost a 49-14 decision at Texas Tech. This setback was far worse; it likely will topple the No. 17 Mountaineers from the polls.

Coach Dana Holgorsen promised a better effort from the Mountaineers, who played with a surprising lack of intensity against Texas Tech a week after their emotional 48-45 win at Texas vaulted them to a No. 5 ranking.

If anything, the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) were even more lackluster, with their offense as responsible for the loss as their continued poor defensive play.

West Virginia, ranked No. 7 in total offense entering the game, was held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season. The Mountaineers didn't cross midfield until midway through the third quarter.

Tavon Austin's 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was the team's lone highlight.

West Virginia's Geno Smith was outplayed by Kansas State's Collin Klein in what was billed as a matchup of Heisman Trophy-worthy quarterbacks.

Smith was held without a touchdown pass and threw his first two interceptions of the season, ending a streak of 326 passes without an interception dating to last season. …