West Virginia finishes off their season this weekend against the last-place team in the Big 12 – Kansas. While some may be writing off the Jayhawks, five of their losses were by one score or less, including Texas Tech (in OT), Texas (by 4) and Oklahoma State (by 6). Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen recognizes both the inconsistencies in their game, but also their potential on the field.
Holgorsen joked that WVU would be at a "major schematical disadvantage" on Saturday, an obvious jab at Charlie Weis' comments about his inherent "schematic advantage" as a coach.
“They haven’t (quit),” said Holgorsen of the 1-10 Jayhawks. “They’ve played real good and they’ve relaxed every other game it seems like.”
On the other sideline, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis says watching the Mountaineer offense is something that can give an opponent headaches.
“Obviously this team is as dynamic as an offense as you can go against,” said Weis on Monday. “Between having a quarterback as good as they have (and) that one-two punch now at running back.”
“They’ve taken that No. 1 guy (Austin) and then taking him to where he’s not just playing wide receiver, but running back, too,” said Weis, trailing off his train of thought. “They got the smash mouth guy (Alston) and the absolute burner (Austin), which really makes their offense very, very, very dynamic.”
After another week where he piled up a ton of all-purpose yards (261), Tavon Austin was the talk of the day again for Weis.
“He is faster than most people on the field,” said Weis. “Just take two plays from that game last week – take the punt return and the pass in the flat on the left hand side. Everyone has angles on him and he just outruns everyone.”
“That’s just unusual talent and unusual speed,” he continued. “He’s a very, very dynamic player. No matter where he is, he’s a pain in the butt you always have to account for.”
There’s obviously more than one side to the ball and Weis is very well aware that the Mountaineers aren’t known for their defense. However he says the defense WVU runs can cause a lot of problems for an offense.
“Defensively, they show so much versatility in what they do,” he said. “They’ve been exposed at time this year because of the nature of the Big 12, (but) they do so many things out of this personnel grouping they play with that you can turn people completely free if you’re not very careful.”
Despite West Virginia’s lack of pass defense this season, Weis says the key will be running the ball on Saturday.
“We sit down and ask ‘how are we going to run the ball against West Virginia’ and the rest of the gameplan just falls from that.”
Well, there is one more question for Weis and Kansas – with a 10-loss season in the books and coming off the bye week, will the Jayhawks have anything in the tank for the season finale this weekend?
“The juice is back and we’ll be ready to go this week.”