WVU RB Charles Sims vs. K-State RB John Hubert
Charles Sims is West Virginia’s top offensive threat, averaging a team-best 79.6 yards rushing a game, good for No.5 in the Big 12. Sims is also a capable receiver out of the backfield with 26 catches, second best for the Mountaineers, and ranks No. 7 in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards. Hubert, unlike Sims, benefits from the attention Daniel Sams’ garners when in the game, and also with the return of top receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson.
Advantage: K-State. Hubert averages just half a yard less per carry than Sims, and seems to be back on track after his 15-carry, 90-yard performance against Baylor. All eyes will be on Sims, while the Mountaineers’ should be much more dispersed to other options on the Wildcats’ offense.
WVU safety Darwin Cook vs. K-State safety Ty Zimmerman
Cook has started 30 games as a Mountaineer, and leads the Big 12 with four interceptions that also ranks him No. 6 in the NCAA. Leading an improving defense, Cook is second in total tackles with 47 to junior linebacker Jared Barber at 51. Zimmerman also ranks second on his team with 43 tackles, but has intercepted just one pass so far this season.
Advantage: WVU. Cook, against a K-State team that has committed 15 total turnovers, should have a chance to make some game-changing plays when Daniel Sams or Jake Waters drop back to pass.
WVU WR Ronald Carswell vs. K-State WR Tyler Lockett
Carswell, a junior college transfer, is a hit or miss receiver for the Mountaineers. While Carswell leads the team with 348 receiving yards, he has only caught 17 passes – fourth best for the Mountaineers – including just one in last week’s loss to Texas Tech. Lockett, despite missing almost two whole games, has double the catches of Carswell and 475 yards receiving – 237 of which came against Texas.
Advantage: K-State. Lockett should be fresh after two full weeks off, giving K-State the deep threat and wide receiver blanket it has been missing since he was injured in the second quarter of the Wildcats’ loss to Oklahoma State.