West Virginia Handles the Jayhawks
Uneventful is an understatement when describing this week in the Big 12. Initially we had just two games scheduled, however after a COVID outbreak in Baylor their game vs Oklahoma State was postponed. That left us with just one matchup in week 7 with the Kansas Jayhawks heading to Morgantown, WV to take on the Mountaineers. My pregame prediction here was WVU winning 48-14, now let’s talk about how it turned out.
WVU QB Jarret Doege- 26/44, 318 PYards, 3 TD’s, 137.8 QBR
WVU RB Leddie Brown- 18 Carries, 195 RYards, 2 TD’s, 10.8 YPC
KU WR Andrew Parchment- 6 Receptions, 65 Yards, 1 TD, 10.8 YPR
Final Score: WVU 38 (3-1) – KU 17 (0-4)
West Virginia opened the sole Big XII game this week as a 21 point favorite over Kansas, and they won by exactly 21. Although the margin of victory was big there was no blowout quarter for WVU in this game. They got outscord 10-7 in the first quarter, outscored Kansas 10-0 and 7-0 in the 3rd and 4th, and 10-7 in the fourth. I mention this because it shows specifically where the problems have been for the Jayhawks and the reason why I struggle to trust West Virginia at this point even with a 3-1 record. For Kansas, it shows they just get beat, straight up and consistently. They have lost all four of their first four games and the smallest margin in those four was this game.
The offense stalls out more often than not, the defense has given up 38, 47, 47, and 38 again in their four games. They just lost arguably the best player on roster in RB Pooka Williams who opted out of the season after the game. Pooka hasn’t been dominant this year but he’s held his own and had a 92 yard kick return for six this saturday. It is another year of struggles for this program and quite frankly I do not see it improving at any point soon. For the Mountaineers, they should have done a lot more in this game. I know it is odd to say a team that won by 21 should have done more but I believe it to be true. We watched them destroy Eastern Kentucky 56-10 and since that game they have struggled to replicate that success. They came into week two as a 7 point underdog to Oklahoma State and lost by double that. They pulled out a double OT win over Baylor in week three in a game that could have gone either way. And this week they didn’t really beat up Kansas like they probably should have.
They had a slow start and came back from down 10-0, and that deserves credit absolutely but will they be able to afford a slow start against Oklahoma, Kansas State, or Iowa State down the road? I really don’t think so. This was a great opportunity to really show the conference they are not to be messed with and although they got the win and did it by double digits I still feel like they could have done more. In a conference that is struggling WVU has a huge chance to make bigger moves than anybody expected of them this season. The emergence of Leddie Brown has been huge, Jarret Doege has shown serious flashes of ability, they just need to piece it together a little more. Once again, for the Kansas Jayhawks, especially with the departure of Pooka Williams, I struggle to find bright spots. This game was two programs on opposite sides of the spectrum: one on the rise with a real chance at making noise. The other staying at the bottom of the conference again.