Joe Bob Clements still thinks of Kansas State as home.
It's his alma mater and where he coached for more than a decade. It's where he met his wife and where three of his children were born. It's where he worked under Bill Snyder, the man who, outside of family, Clements says has had the biggest influence on his life.
But Saturday, Clements will be in an interesting place — on the opposite sideline, facing the Wildcats for the first time since becoming Oklahoma State's defensive line coach.
That means Clements certainly has useful insight on the way the K-State program operates, as well as a lot of its personnel. But he said he won't try to pummel his colleagues and players with too much info about his former team leading up to the Cowboys' home contest against the Wildcats.
“If I tried to do too much like that, it would probably cause more of an issue than it will a benefit,” Clements said. “Obviously, I've spent a lot of time practicing against Kansas State's offense, but that's kind of a different perception, because you never had to play them.
“There's a lot of things that they would do that would cause us problems in practice, but you'd kind of shrug it off and go ‘Well, we don't have to see that on Saturday.'”
Still, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said Clements' long history with arguably the greatest college football coach in history made him an attractive job candidate and a valuable new member of the OSU staff.
“When we try to hire coaches, we try to bring in people that are smarter and can give us information that we don't have and make us better,” Gundy said. “I'm not a micromanager, never have been. I hire people and I let them do their job. I don't stand over them.
“So coaches that have worked for other head coaches that have been successful have always drawn my attention. And Kansas State earns everything they get, in my opinion.”
SEATON BREAKS DOWN TWO-FULLBACK FORMATION
OSU ran plenty of its three-back “trey” formation Saturday against West Virginia.
But there was a bit of a new wrinkle, as fullbacks Kye Staley and Jeremy Seaton occasionally lined up together on either side of quarterback J.W. Walsh. Typically, the formation features one fullback and two running backs.
Seaton said the Cowboys hope to run more plays out of that look as Staley's health continues to improve after he was slowed in the early season by a foot injury.
“It's great, because I know Kye's gonna knock somebody down,” Seaton said. “Now I've just gotta follow his lead.”
The set sprung Seaton in the third quarter for his 30-yard touchdown catch, the second of his career. Seaton said that first score, which came in the Heart of Dallas Bowl last season, was such a blur that he can't even recall it today.
But he remembers Saturday's trip to the end zone.
“I turned back and I saw J.W. throw it to me,” Seaton said. “Whenever I turned my head, I didn't see if there was a safety to my right, so I was just hoping that I wasn't gonna get knocked out, honestly.
“Once I caught it and I got into the end zone and everything, I saw Kye running to me.”
Quarterback J.W. Walsh on not letting the emotions of a loss linger: “We can't let West Virginia beat us twice. We've got to move forward and only focus on Kansas State this week. We need to focus on beating them.”