MORGANTOWN - A pair of border state battles highlight action this weekend in the Big 12 conference.
No. 8 West Virginia (2-0) plays host to long-time rival Maryland (2-1) at noon while No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) faces its most difficult task yet when the Sooners play host to No. 15 Kansas State (3-0) in a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the Wildcats.
"It (the rivalry) was back in the 90s or whenever it took place," KSU head coach Bill Snyder said during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "We had some ongoing success then. But the last two ballgames, that has not been apparent.
"Last year got out of hand in the second half. Overall, I don't think we have been as competitive as we'd like."
The Wildcats won't be the only team on Saturday looking to change a recent trend as Maryland (2-1) will look to snap a six-game losing streak to their Mountain State rivals.
The Mountaineers, who are coming off a 42-12 victory over No. 5 (FCS) James Madison, will look to make it seven straight against the Terrapins, coached by former-Connecticut head coach Randy Edsell.
"His (Edsell's) obsession is to stop an offense like ours," said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. "He knows as much about our offense as we do."
But even that knowledge might not be enough if senior quarterback Geno Smith continues to put up the Heisman-like numbers he has accounted for in wins over Marshall (69-34) and JMU.
In his first two games in his final season in the old gold and blue, the Florida-native has completed 66-of-75 attempts for 734 yards and nine touchdowns with zero interceptions.
"I, personally, haven't been around a guy with those kinds of stats (9 touchdowns, 9 incomplete passes)," said Holgorsen. "But we are going up against a Maryland defense that is No. 8 in the country in pass defense.
"Saying that, it doesn't surprise me that he is putting up numbers like that."
Maryland's defense had plenty of success against a Huskies' offensive attack that managed only 223 total yards - 70 in the air. But a 58-yard punt return by Connecticut's Nick Williams, a pair of short touchdown runs by Scott McCummings and Lyle McCombs, and a 34-yard field goal by Chad Christen proved to be too much for the Terrapins' offense to overcome.
"This is the one existing game (non-conference) that is going to be played for a long time," added the WVU coach. "We are wanting to play regional games, so that game is going to remain on the schedule."
Getting action started for the Big 12 at 8 p.m. Friday will be Baylor, which travels to Morgantown for a noon contest against the Mountaineers at noon on Saturday, Sept. 29, taking on a UL-Monroe unit that surprised highly-ranked Arkansas two weeks ago.
"What UL-Monroe was able to do at Arkansas, if you didn't have respect for them before, you do now," explained Bears head coach Art Briles.
Joining WVU and Maryland at noon on Saturday will be No. 17 TCU (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) playing host to Virginia. The only afternoon Big 12 contest involves Kansas (1-2, 0-1 Big 12) traveling to Northern Illinois.
A prime time contest will feature the league's biggest conference matchup to date when Oklahoma entertains KSU at 7:30 p.m.
Having the weekend off will be No. 12 Texas (3-0), Texas Tech (3-0), Oklahoma State (2-1) and Iowa State (3-0).