The Kansas State Wildcats face yet another tough obstacle ahead in their hopes for another Big 12 win and the chance to stay in the national title hunt when they go up against the West Virginia Mountaineers this weekend. Bill Snyder's squad has already taken out Oklahoma and Iowa State on the road, so they've definitely shown their toughness. Yet West Virginia's passing attack, led by Geno Smith, is going to be perhaps the most difficult team they've faced yet this season.
Smith had been well on his way to a likely Heisman Trophy until last Saturday when Texas Tech stuffed WVU's offensive capabilities. Yet Snyder should expect Smith to bounce back just fine.
In addition, the Kansas State pass defense has been suspect against capable quarterbacks. While K-State has yet to lose, they've given up an abundance of yards at times and can't afford to give Smith a lot of operating room.
"I wasn't surprised Texas Tech sliced up West Virginia's defense like Swiss cheese in last week's 49-14 rout in Lubbock," writes ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "But I was shocked the Red Raiders were able to slow down quarterback Geno Smith and his high-octane passing game.
"Smith, who finally looked human by completing only 29 of 55 passes for 275 yards with one touchdown, was obviously affected by the howling winds in Lubbock," he continues. "He should fare better against the Wildcats, who rank 74th in pass defense, allowing 238.5 yards per game."
Derek Thompson of North Texas went 25 of 28 for 208 yards and 1 touchdown against K-State. Landry Jones threw for nearly 300 yards for Oklahoma. Stephen Morris of Miami went 19 of 26 for 215 yards. Expect Smith to easily trump all of these numbers.
The hope is that K-State can keep Smith and WVU out of the end zone even if he can advance the ball. Clearly there's a way to bring him down, and you can believe Snyder is getting maximum use out of the game tape from the Texas Tech win last Saturday. But the evidence on the field suggests that Smith will at least enjoy some eye-popping stats for yet another game.