A strong offense will be key if K-State football hopes to compete at West Virginia

Sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson runs in a touchdown during the football game against UTSA in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 15, 2018. The Roadrunners fell to the Wildcats 41-17. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

While Kansas State football had a rough start to the season, their week three offensive showing against UTSA gave a glimpse into what the Wildcats are capable of doing and how fast they can progress as a football team.

That progression will need to be seen when they travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, for their first Big 12 game of the year. West Virginia is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation after shutting down Tennessee and Youngstown State.

Their week three game against NC State was canceled after hurricane Florence swept over the East Coast.

West Virginia single-handedly has one of the best defenses in the country and during their first two games of the season, the Mountaineers’ defense only allowed their opponents to earn 619 offensive yards.

In the last three weeks, the Wildcats have allowed their opponents to earn 1,172 offensive yards.

While the Wildcats may give up more offensive yards per game than West Virginia they have shown steady improvement after a week two setback against Mississippi State. In week one the Wildcats had 408 offensive yards. In week two the Wildcats had 213 offensive yards. In week three the Wildcats showed a more polished and put-together look earning 449 offensive yards.

Senior offensive lineman Dalton Risner credits the offensive bounce-back to the fact that Skylar Thompson was given more time to show what he is capable of and the ability to work some of the kinks out before being pulled out of the game.

“It is hard for Skylar to get rolling when he makes a few bad plays and gets taken out and a new quarterback gets put in,” Risner said.

Junior wide receiver Dalton Schoen said he also believes that it is good for Thompson to have more consistency on game day.

“It’s definitely a tough position to be in, a position battle like that,” Schoen said. “I think with Skylar getting all of those reps, it definitely helps his rhythm, his confidence, his ability to lead.”

While head coach Bill Snyder said he believes that Thompson is making improvements, evening out the running and passing game will be a key factor to the Wildcat offense because it is very hard to achieve.

The Wildcats had 285 out of their 449 yards (63 percent) in their passing game and only 164 out of the 449 yards (37 percent) in their rushing game against UTSA.

The Wildcats will need to take the momentum from their week three victory against UTSA into this weeks matchup against the Mountaineers.

“I think it was really important to just go out there and correct the mistakes we made against Mississippi State and just kind of get that confidence boost and get that momentum built up,” Schoen said.

K-State will kickoff against West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. in Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday. The game will be aired on ESPN and the K-State Sports Network.

Hi, I'm Molly Hackett and I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in broadcast journalism in May 2020. When I worked for the Collegian, I had a variety of different jobs, including managing editor and sports editor. Additionally, I served a one year term on the Collegian Media Group Board of Directors. I also worked for KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day during my final semester at K-State. In my free time, I like to spend time with the people closest to me, travel, drink coffee and take naps.