LAWRENCE, Kan. -- There have been games and moments for West Virginia this season that have defied description.
Remember, Dana Holgorsen, whether an assistant coach or a head coach, had never lost a quarterback to injury from 2000-12. Not once. Yet the fellow who'd become synonymous with quarterback play in the Big 12 through the years lost his second starter of this season in his second start. We haven't seen Ford Childress since he tore his right pectoral muscle against Maryland and we might not see him again.
Clint Trickett promptly sprained his right AC joint when he was slammed on his throwing shoulder in his first start a week later. He was a fraction of himself the following game against Baylor and was knocked unconscious in last week's loss to Texas.
Along the way, Holgorsen was shut out for the first time ever against Maryland and managed one touchdown against Oklahoma and Kansas State.
Never before in the modern era had WVU allowed as many points as the 73 given up to Baylor. In the three losses since then, WVU has given up 21 unanswered points to Texas Tech, 28 to Kansas State and 21 to Texas and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson has sort of scratched his head after each and remarked how he'd never seen something so unexpected and wondered how it could have happened. Again. And to the same defense that allowed 21 points in 19 possessions to then-No. 11 Oklahoma State.
Then there are the injuries on defense, where eight players - kids who would have started or played a significant role - were lost for the season and no fewer than 16 players will miss at least 74 games by the end of the season.
Patterson just shakes his head and rolls his eyes at that one because, no, there's been nothing like that before.
But this season has left no one without adjectives. Patterson called the Baylor loss "catastrophic" to his team's confidence. Seven straight third-down failures in a row at Kansas State was an unprecedented collapse of a "catastrophic proportion." Holgorsen has called his offense "inept," the snapping "awful," his outside passing game "disgusting" and his kickoff return "garbage" this season.
But before you get bent out of shape about all of that, consider the tact of Holgorsen's counterpart Saturday. Here's how Kansas Coach Charlie Weis pitches the rebuilding job to his recruits - and this is not a joke.
"Everyone wants to play - there's no one that wants to not play," Weis said. "I said, 'Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don't think you can play here, where do you think you can play?' "It's a pretty simple approach. And that's not a sales pitch. That's practical. You've seen it, right? Unfortunately, so have I."
Kansas (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) has lost six straight games, each in the Big 12 and all as part of a 27-game losing streak in Big 12 play. That's two shy of the conference record. The Mountaineers (4-6, 2-5) aren't in danger of such indignity, but are on the cusp of ending an 11-year streak of bowl eligibility.