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Big 12 football: WVU-Kansas State game to be televised nationally

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's Oct. 20 home game against Kansas State will be televised by Fox at 7 p.m., the Big 12 Conference announced Monday.

That makes three straight national broadcasts for the fifth-ranked Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12). They beat Texas on Fox last Saturday and play at Texas Tech at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday on ABC.

The sixth-ranked Wildcats (5-0, 2-0) play at Iowa State on Saturday.

Should WVU and Kansas State both win, it would be the third matchup of top-10 teams in Morgantown and the first since No. 9 WVU beat No. 4 Miami 17-14 in 1993. The ninth-ranked Mountaineers and 10th-ranked Pitt tied 31-31 at Mountaineer Field in 1989.

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BEFORE THAT can happen, the Mountaineers must make another trip to Texas and Jones AT&T Stadium, in Lubbock. WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen was an assistant there from 2000-07.

"I'm not going to think twice about it," he said. "I'm over that. I had eight great years there, but I faced Texas Tech when I was at Houston in a road game and when I was at Oklahoma State in a road game. It's nothing new to me. I'm five years removed from that and I've been to three different places since then. All the feelings and emotions were gone a long time ago."

Holgorsen is 2-0 in his returns to Texas Tech. Houston won there in 2008 and Oklahoma State won there in 2010. Texas Tech, which had a stadium record 60,800 for Saturday's loss to Oklahoma (4-0, 1-1), has lost five straight conference road games.

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KANSAS STATE'S appetizer is a chore, too. Iowa State (4-1, 1-1) ended TCU's 12-game winning streak Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. The Cyclones, now No. 25 in the coaches' poll, have won a road game against a ranked team in three straight seasons and beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma State at home last year to keep the Cowboys out of the national championship game.

The Wildcats prove hard to beat, though, because they don't hurt themselves. They're the least-penalized team in the country (nine penalties total, 1.8 per game) and No. 3 in turnover margin (plus-11) and turnovers lost (three).

"Football is really about those intrinsic values and one of those intrinsic values is discipline and discipline allows you to not do things that most coaches would say prevent you from being yourself," Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder said. "Certainly penalties is one of those things and turnovers is one of those things. We've done reasonably well with both, at least up to this point in time, and that's a tribute to the discipline of the young people in this program."

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WEST VIRGINIA running back Andrew Buie was named the Big 12's offensive player of the week Monday and receiver Tavon Austin was named the special teams player of the week.

The Mountaineers and Texas are the only teams to have offensive, defensive and special teams winners this season. Out of a possible 18 superlatives in six weeks, WVU has six - and that's in five games with 15 possible superlatives.

Four WVU players - Buie, Austin and quarterback Geno Smith twice - have won the offensive award and linebacker Isaiah Bruce has won the defensive award. WVU is the only team to have multiple winners in multiple weeks.

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IN THE season's nine Big 12 games, the losing teams are averaging 26.8 points and teams have lost with 63, 45 and 36 points. The winning teams are averaging 40.1 points and every winner has scored at least 20 points.

In the Big East, the winning teams are averaging 25.4 points and have won with 23, 19 and 14 points. The losing teams average 13.4 points and haven't topped 28 yet.

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TWO TEAMS made quarterback changes Saturday. Iowa State used Jared Barnett in the victory over TCU and Trevone Boykin.

Barnett, who helped the Cyclones beat ranked Texas Tech and Oklahoma State last season, replaced Steele Jantz and threw a career-high three touchdown passes.

"I don't know if there was a biggest reason, but there were a number of things, including the confidence of our football team and the confidence of the two players," Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads said. "Then there's the fact he's always led our football team when he's played quarterback. He hasn't always made plays necessarily, but he's led the team and that was something we needed. We needed somebody to make good decisions."

Boykin replaced Casey Pachall, who was arrested last Wednesday and charged with DWI.

Boykin practiced Tuesday and Wednesday last week at running back because the Horned Frogs were running out of players there.

TCU Coach Gary Patterson, who said he's met with the school's athletic director and chancellor and will update Pachall's indefinite suspension today, had a mixed opinion about Boykin.

"He was good, considering Iowa State has a pretty good defense and we had 85 plays and 455 yards," he said, "but you can't throw three interceptions, especially not one for a touchdown, and you can't turn the ball over. He's got to do a better job managing the game."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at or 304-319-1142. His blog is at


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