WVU’s October blitz vs. ranked teams moves to Baylor, TCU
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia’s October schedule against all ranked opponents now goes into overdrive in Texas.
Coming off losses on the road to No. 19 Oklahoma and at home to No. 16 Oklahoma State, the Mountaineers now face even biggest tests at No. 2 Baylor on Saturday and at No. 3 TCU on Oct. 29.
”It’s what everybody signed up for,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday on the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. ”We’re excited about it and it’s going to be a good opportunity to be able to go play football. That’s the mindset of our team right now.”
Baylor (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) averages 64.2 points per game, tops in the nation, and TCU (6-0, 3-0) is third at 51 points per game. That doesn’t bode well for West Virginia (3-2, 0-2), which has struggled on offense and committed nine turnovers in the first two league games.
West Virginia has gone 6-8 in Big 12 road games since joining the league in 2012. All but one of those losses were by double digits.
At home last season, West Virginia handed Baylor its only regular-season loss, which cost the Bears a chance at the College Football Playoff. The Bears were penalized 18 times for a Big 12-record 215 yards against West Virginia, including seven pass interference calls.
Bears coach Art Briles isn’t looking at that loss for motivation.
”We never use the word revenge,” Briles said. ”We’re just trying to keep going what we’ve got going. We’ve got nobody to fault last year except us. If we’re going to revenge somebody, it needs to be on us. We’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to do it.”
SOONERS IN MANHATTAN: Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1) needs a win at Kansas State (3-2, 0-2) on Saturday to keep from falling two games back in the conference chase after losing 24-17 to Texas. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is 5-0 against Kansas State on the road and doesn’t have a specific formula for his team’s success in Manhattan, Kansas.
”There isn’t any magic to it,” Stoops said. ”It’s execution and making plays when you get the opportunity to make them.”
K-STATE’S LATE SWOONS: Kansas State has lost two straight after struggling to keep momentum going in the second half. At halftime, the Wildcats led TCU 35-17 and Oklahoma State 28-20. Before those games, K-State had won 49 straight when leading at halftime.
”We’re having some serious dialogue about that,” said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. ”It’s pretty hard to put your finger on. I don’t think it’s a conditioning problem.”
In a 52-45 loss to TCU, Snyder called timeout on fourth-and-1 with 1:52 left, then decided to kick a tying 37-yard field goal rather than use up more clock. TCU scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 55-yard pass with 1:10 left.
”At the end of the day, it was just a bad choice on my part,” Snyder said. ”Hindsight tells me if I had to do it again, I’d do it differently. I’m totally responsible for that.”
TIME TO THINK: Texas (2-4, 1-2) has the week off after its big win, and Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0) is idle after beating West Virginia 33-26 in overtime.
”The effort against Oklahoma is what we need every week,” said Longhorns coach Charlie Strong. ”It gives us something to build on. And now that I’ve seen it, there is no reason we can’t do it every time.”
Oklahoma State was limited to 134 rushing yards but was effective in overtime with six straight runs, including backup quarterback J.W. Walsh’s 2-yard TD run to beat the Mountaineers.
”J.W. gives us an option,” said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. ”We thought he would be a factor in our season and it’s worked out that way.”
In other Big 12 games Saturday, TCU is at Iowa State (2-3, 1-1), and Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2) is at Kansas (0-5, 0-2).
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Arlington, Texas, contributed to this report.
AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org