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West Virginia Falls Upset Victim to Kansas on Miserable Night in Morgantown

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Following a tough loss an an underdog to Pitt, it was essential for West Virginia to show up and show out in their first home game, which just so happened to be a conference game. And that’s exactly what the Mountaineers started off doing until the balloon popped and they lost 55-42 in overtime.

WVU jumped on the Jayhawks early with a 59 touchdown pass from JT Daniels to Sam James. This showed the aggressiveness of new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell. His “Air Raid” offense took a bit to get going in the Backyard Brawl, but didn’t waste any time on this day. CJ Donaldson, who had his coming out party against the Panthers, drilled in another score for the Mountaineers. Donaldson averaged almost 5 yards per carry at 4.8 in the first half.

While Kansas did eventually stop the bleeding and stop WVU from running away with things with a touchdown of their own early in the second quarter, they just could not hang with the explosiveness of the West Virginia offense all night. This was evident by a 67-yard touchdown by Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Number 0 was able to get separation and run right by multiple Kansas corners, getting himself in open space and then all the way into the end zone.

Kansas would answer again, keeping things within one score at the time. Eventually, WVU would get Ford-Wheaton back into the end zone and pull away for a two-touchdown 28-14 lead at half time. Ford-Wheaton’s second touchdown was his 4th for the season.

Unfortunately for West Virginia fans, the second half did not bring any sense of relaxation. Kansas fought their way back in the game, tying it up at 28 after a short 3-yard touchdown run by Daniel Hickshaw.

The pressure was then on Neal Brown’s team to respond. But before WVU could even compose themselves, they found themselves trailing for the first time all night when Devin Neal ran it in for the Jayhawks. To shock of Mountaineer Nation, it was 35-28 Kansas entering the 4th quarter. A Casey Legg field goal following an incompletion that would’ve been a score by JT Daniels then made it 35-31. Legg’s field goal quickly became an afterthought after Kansas marched up the field for a 4-play scoring drive.

Asked to drive most of the field with just over 2 minutes left and down by 8, JT Daniels was able to lead West Virginia on a long drive that eventually tied the game after a successful two-point conversion catch by Ford-Wheaton, who posted 11 receptions for 152 yards and a couple touchdown in the game.

It was 42-42 going into overtime. A rouging the passer call gave Kansas new life on their first drive of overtime. Quentin Skinner was able to go up for a ball and hang on as the Jayhawks struck pay dirt, making it 49-42.

An interception on the sidelines of Daniels that was returned the distance sealed the upset win for Kansas.

All of a sudden a game that most penciled in as a victory for WVU became a loss. The Mountaineers are now 0-2 on the season with Towson headed to Morgantown next Saturday.

 

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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