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On the first series of the game, West Virginia gave up 74 yards on the ground and if it wasn’t for a false start on the offensive line, Kansas may have just scored the touchdown on a 4th and 3 from the West Virginia 6-yard line. Instead, they settled for a field goal and would take a 3-0 lead.
Kansas only had 328 total rushing yards coming the game, but would finish the day with 367 yards on the ground against the Mountaineer defense.
The run defense was an issue coming into this game. West Virginia was giving up 179 yards on the ground per game, ranking them 9th in the Big 12 in that category. Kansas exploited the Mountaineers in the heart of the defense.
Kansas running back Khalil Herbert took advantage of how soft the middle of the defense is. He finished the day with 36 carries for 291 and 2 touchdowns.
The offense would score a touchdown on four of their six possessions in the first half but after halftime they came out flat. Will Grier and the offense was shutout for the first time this year in the 3rd quarter and Kansas would take advantage of it behind the running game cutting the lead to 8 with 3:22 left to play in the 3rd quarter.
On the ensuing West Virginia possession, a holding penalty would stall the Mountaineer offense and would be forced to punt the ball away. Kansas would have a chance to tie the game up, but the defense made a crucial stop and the Mountaineers started to pull away.
Will Grier and the offense would score on their next three possessions and the defense would force 2 turnovers to put the game away.
Coming into the game, the concern was; How was West Virginia’s secondary going to hold up against the Kansas Passing attack? Well, they did hold Peyton Bender to just over 50% passing, but did give up one big pass play of 64 yards. It was the run defense that was soft.
The defense did force three turnovers on the day and one turnover was an interception for a touchdown. Lamont McDougle forced a turnover in the fourth quarter they put the final nail in the coffin for the Jayhawks.
It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination. The Mountaineers looked like they didn’t even want to be out on the field at times, but a road conference win is still big no matter who the opponent is, Mountaineers win 56-34.
West Virginia has a bye week before they travel to FT. Worth. If I was on that defense, I would be dreading practice the next two weeks with Tony Gibson. They better improve or it could be a dreadful year for the defense.
Will Grier – 25-39 347 yards 2 TD / 10 carries 51 yards 2 TD
Justin Crawford – 18 carries 125 yards 1 TD / 2 receptions 25 yards
Kennedy McKoy – 12 carries 105 yards 2 TD / 1 reception 7 yards
David Sills – 8 receptions 130 yards 2 TD
Gary Jennings – 6 receptions 75 yards
Marcus Simms – 4 receptions 68 yards
Ka’Raun White – 3 receptions 36 yards