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Facing West Virginia and Dana Holgorsen, Bill Snyder dismisses old school vs. new school narrative

MORGANTOWN — With no game to prepare for last week thanks to Hurricane Florence, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers’ staff put in extra time on the task that looms ahead next, Kansas State.

Other than giving the players an off day on Saturday, last week’s focus was on the Wildcats as soon as the scheduled game against N.C. State was called off.

“We scrimmaged every day. Kansas State is a tough outfit we have to prepare for,” Holgorsen said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call. “There’s no way to get better for playing football than playing football. We gave them Saturday off in hopes of it being as normal as we can.”

There is nothing similar about how West Virginia and Kansas State play the game from a schematic sense, though 78-year-old Wildcats coach Bill Snyder bristled at the notion that the matchup is “old school versus new school.”

“West Virginia does a wonderful job doing what they do, and we need to do a better job doing what we do,” Snyder said. “It depends on where you put the emphasis, but I wouldn’t say it’s old against new.”

The last four games in the series have been decided by less than a touchdown with each team winning twice, perhaps showing there are many ways to slice an onion.

“I think every year but one – they were really, really good in 2012, I think they got up to No. 1 – the rest of the time we’ve been pretty evenly matched,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve got all the respect in the world for Coach Snyder and what they’ve accomplished. They’re one of the best coached teams in the nation every year.”

In 2012, then-No. 4 K-State buried No. 17 West Virginia 55-14 in Morgantown, and the following year the Wildcats prevailed 35-12 in Manhattan.

Kansas State made it a four-game winning streak in the series thanks to a 26-20 road win in 2014 and their 24-23 comeback in 2015, before West Virginia won the most recent two meetings, 17-16 and 28-23.

Holgorsen is disappointed the Mountaineers were unable to play on a marquee weekend for the Big 12 that saw Texas trounce USC, Oklahoma State beat Boise State and TCU threaten Ohio State. He’s not delusional enough to think the game actually should have been played, though.

“It was a game that everybody wanted to play. A Big 12 and ACC matchup was going to add to a great weekend in the Big 12,” Holgorsen said. “But at the end, you can’t play because of natural disaster.”

Holgorsen does not think the lost weekend will come back to bite his team in any manner.

“I don’t think it will hurt our football team,” he said. “We already had a marquee matchup in the SEC, and we’ve got nine Power Five games ahead of us. I don’t see the cancellation being any problem.”

Former Mountaineers player arrested

Former West Virginia defensive tackle Xavier Pegues was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of DUI. Pegues was pulled over by a Monongalia County deputy on Sunday. According to the police report, Pegues admitted to drinking and told the officer to take him to jail during a field sobriety test. Pegues is alleged to have had a blood-alcohol level of .188, more than twice the legal limit.

Due to injury, Pegues’ lone season playing for the Mountaineers was last year. He had 13 tackles in 11 games, including 2.5 tackles for loss.