MORGANTOWN - The halftime show at Mountaineer Field Saturday night featured West Virginia's band forming the outline of an airplane.
That's all, just a stationary plane. It never moved or taxied, much less pretended to take off.
Then again, it seemed kind of appropriate, actually. After all, West Virginia's football team pretty much just sat there and did nothing, too.
Proving once and for all that its defense might be among the worst in modern football history and then adding a stunningly inept offense to the mix, the Mountaineers were hammered by No. 4 Kansas State 55-14 Saturday night.
It was WVU's worst loss at home since No. 1 Miami won here 58-14 in 1986 and came in front of a crowd of 60,101. It was also the Mountaineers' second straight lopsided defeat, following last Saturday's 49-14 drubbing at Texas Tech.
It certainly means that West Virginia (5-2, 2-2 Big 12), which reached No. 5 in the national rankings after a win at Texas just two weeks ago, will disappear from the rankings.
"There are no excuses,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "It starts with me. We'll fix what's wrong and keep plugging along.''
Kansas State (7-0, 4-0), meanwhile, seems to have little to fix. The Wildcats did nothing to hurt their place in the rankings, dominating West Virginia on both sides of the ball. They scored a field goal and seven touchdowns the first eight times they had the ball and held WVU's offense off the scoreboard until midway through the fourth quarter.
And it wasn't just the second straight week West Virginia was crushed. It was the second straight time that a lopsided defeat seemed to come right out of the blue. The Mountaineers were actually favored in the game, and to hear Holgorsen afterward, it was a complete shock based on the preparation that led up to it.
"I thought we were ready to play,'' he said, echoing his sentiments from a week earlier. "We addressed the effort issues. We just played a good football team. And that's probably as good as they can play.''
Kansas State's Collin Klein certainly played his best, living up to his billing as a fresh Heisman Trophy favorite. But this time he did it with a twist.
Klein ran for four touchdowns, which is not at all unusual for the 6-foot-5, 226-pound senior, but he was also made to look like Peyton Manning as a passer by WVU's porous defense. Quarterbacking the worst passing offense in the Big 12, Klein was a remarkable 19 for 21 for 323 yards and three touchdowns.
And that was in less than three quarters. His third TD pass - and his seventh touchdown overall - made the score 52-7 with 2:25 to play in the third quarter. Klein did play one three-play series in the fourth - Kansas State's first on which it did not score - but did not throw another pass.
"I'm embarrassed about what happened tonight,'' WVU defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said after his team gave up 479 yards. "But we're going to make it right.''
Fortunately the Mountaineers have an extra week to attempt to do that. West Virginia is off this week before resuming play with TCU at home in two weeks.