MORGANTOWN - So far this season, West Virginia has seen prolific passing offenses in Big 12 foes Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas. What waits for the Mountaineers this week is a bit of a change.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein leads the Wildcats - No. 4 in the first Bowl Championship Series rankings - into Morgantown Saturday in front of a national television audience with a run-oriented offense geared toward testing the so-far-shaky WVU defense.
In Kansas State's last game, a 27-21 win at Iowa State, Klein led the Wildcats with 105 rushing yards and three touchdowns to go with 187 passing yards. For his career, the senior signal caller has run for 43 touchdowns; this season, he's accounted for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
What Klein represents is a different kind of challenge for a Mountaineer defense that has been exposed through the air at times this season and been somewhere close to average against the run.
"He's one of the best players in the country," WVU defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said. "I've seen people try to defend him several different ways and he's still successful. We're going to have to get more hats on the ball. [K-State] creates such a different challenge than last week. It's totally opposite, so we've got to switch gears and prepare differently."
Mountaineer linebacker Isaiah Bruce said the Wildcats present a different look than the team has seen in recent weeks but added that - from his perspective - it is a welcome change.
"It's definitely going to be a change since [Klein] is such a good runner," Bruce said. "It brings us back to earlier in the season with Marshall and JMU. It works in our favor seeing as how they like to run so much and we have a pretty good run defense."
West Virginia ranks fifth in the Big 12 in rushing defense, allowing 140.7 yards per game but has yet to face a rushing attack of the Wildcats' caliber.
K-State averages 245.3 yards per game on the ground with Klein and John Hubert, who has run for 606 yards and eight touchdowns on 98 carries this season, doing the bulk of the work.
WVU secondary coach Daron Roberts said when he watches tape on Kansas State, not only does the sheer ability the Wildcats' possess stick out but also the discipline they play with.