West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen focused on toughness during his time on Monday's Big 12 coaches' teleconference, saying it's something he expects Kansas State to have Saturday and something his team didn't show in its loss to Texas Tech.
WVU, 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference, lost its first game of the season, 49-14 to Texas Tech. The loss resulted in a fall from the top five to No. 17 in the latest polls.
"When we fell behind, I think our guys weren't mentally tough enough to handle another shoot-out," Holgorsen said. "It was really disappointing that we weren't able to bow up when we were facing adversity."
The Mountaineers, he said, will have to return to those swaggering days this weekend when they play host to No. 4 Kansas State, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12. The game will kick off at 7 p.m., and it will be televised by Fox.
Holgorsen said he has not been surprised by K-State's success during Bill Snyder's second go-round at the helm of the team.
"That whole program is built around being tough," Holgorsen said, "mentally tough, physically tough and very, very disciplined. They will be our biggest challenge of the year, no question."
The coach said the Mountaineer defense will face yet another challenge from an explosive offense.
"They do a great job of controlling the clock," he said. "Our job defensively is to stop the run and to create turnovers and try to get off the field."
Holgorsen said the team's morale has improved since walking off the field following the loss to Texas Tech.
"We just had a bad game," Holgorsen said. "We have to find (other) ways to win games, such as with special teams and defense."