MANHATTAN, Kan. - There were a lot of little things, it seemed, that contributed to one big loss for West Virginia's football team here Saturday.
That's not to say the major issues weren't, well, major. They were. The Mountaineers still can't move the ball consistently on offense, give up way too many third-down plays on defense and haven't made more than a handful of plays all season on special teams.
But consider how even just two or three plays might have changed what came to be a 35-12 Kansas State win:
First, Ronald Carswell slid past a loose ball and the Wildcats recovered. Later, Trickett was hit scrambling for a first down while WVU's offense was moving and the deficit was only 21-12. Quinton Spain seemed almost to fall on the ball with his 335 pounds, but he didn't secure it and Kansas State recovered.
On the next scoring drive, WVU had third-and-6 defensed perfectly. But then heavy-footed quarterback Jake Waters scrambled and got the first down.
Combine those two defensive breakdowns with the fumble Spain didn't recover - which led to the next KSU score - and West Virginia might well have kept the momentum.
"Sometimes that's all it takes is one or two plays. I know those are the ones I can't get out of my head,'' said defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. "I thought we played well the first half. I thought, maybe this is going to be the day we get over the hump and finish.
"But it doesn't matter what you do in the first half or even the first three quarters. This is a 60-minute game.''
There was another time when West Virginia actually gave away points. But it wasn't because of any decision by the coaches - save for the one they made to give the special teams players an option to fake a field goal.
It came at the end of the first half when WVU had driven inside the Kansas State 10. On fourth down, the Mountaineers lined up for a field goal with a 9-7 lead. But holder Mike Molinari took the snap and ran over left tackle. He made four yards, but he needed seven for a first down or nine for a touchdown.