Big 12 Previews

West Virginia vs. Kansas State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Kansas State

Here is a look at the upcoming Big 12 match up in our West Virginia vs. Kansas State preview and prediction.

Game Info

11:00 a.m. CST, Saturday, October 31st, Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, West Virginia

TV: ESPN2 (Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer, Dr. Jerry Punch)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson); Mountaineer Sports Network (Tony Caridi); Sirius/XM 83

Spread: West Virginia -3.5

Fun Fact: Kansas State is looking to snap a four-game losing streak in the series vs. West Virginia after Kansas State had won the previous five games in the series.


Key Players

Kansas State Wildcats

RB Deuce Vaughn

This true freshman continues to be lights out for the Wildcats, and his role only becomes bigger with the loss of QB Skylar Thompson for the season. He had over 150 yards receiving and rushing last week vs. Kansas. Vaughn now ranks 6th in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game (62) and is second in the Big 12 in receiving yards per game (72). He’s become one of the biggest threats in the conference.

LB’s Justin Hughes/Elijah Sullivan

The linebacking duo are both seniors and former high school teammates who are the team’s top two tacklers so far this season as well. When you go on the road in a tough environment with a young team, senior leadership like this can make all the difference in the world. With K-State expected to stack the box to stop running back Leddie Brown, these two are going to play a major role in the outcome on Sunday.

West Virginia Mountaineers

RB Leddie Brown

Brown is third in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game behind Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard. He’s fourth in the nation in total touchdowns (9), No. 7 in total points (54) and rushing yards (592), No. 10 in rushing touchdowns (7) and rushing yards per game (118). He is the engine behind this offense and the unit will go as far as Brown can take them.

DL Akheem Mesidor

While the focus remains on the Stills brothers (Darius and Dante), it’s the freshman lineman who is right now second in the Big 12 Conference with 4.0 sacks on the season, just .5 behind Iowa State’s Will McDonald. In conference play, he’s tied for sixth in the conference with 3.0 sacks through four games. The true freshman ranked as the No. 28 strongside defensive end in the 2020 class, per the 247Sports Composite. He picked West Virginia after taking official visits to Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Georgia Tech and UCLA.


Key Storylines

Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats need to continue to win the turnover battle, and when possible, scoring non-offensive touchdowns. K-State had three non-offensive touchdowns last week against Kansas and leads the nation with 122 since 1999, 13 more than any other program in the country. Meantime, in 18 games under Chris Klieman, K-State has just 12 turnovers, with only two coming so far this season. In conference play, Kansas State is 1st in the Big 12 at +6 in turnover margin, while WVU is at -2, tied for 8th in the conference. This is something that Kansas State needs to take advantage of on the road.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Get Leddie going. It might sound simple, and it should, but that’s what WVU needs to do. The passing game is very inconsistent right now for the Mountaineers, as they lead FBS in drops this season. And as good as Kansas State has been this season, they’re giving up 159 rushing yards per game this season, which is 7th in the conference this season. K-State’s pass defense efficiency is second in the Big 12, so if WVU is going to get it going this weekend, it will have to come on the ground.


Kansas State 24, West Virginia 21

Kansas State has been just so darn efficient this season. Of K-State’s 20 red zone chances this year, 15 have resulted in touchdowns and the other five were made field goals. They are first in red zone offense, second in red zone defense, lead in turnover margin and have the best special teams in the Big 12. Despite the youth at key positions going into this game, the Wildcats have the ability to pull off a win against the Mountaineers.

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