West Virginia and Kansas. I wish I could tell you that this was going to be a great game with all kinds of intrigue and great story lines, but I can’t. I want to see Kansas get better, and they are, but just not as fast as the league would like them to. The Mountaineers and Jayhawks have faced off just five times dating all the way back to 1941 which ended in a tie. The overall series is 3-1-1 in favor of the Mountaineers.
Last week both teams had it pretty rough both getting beat convincingly, the only difference is West Virginia came into their game against Oklahoma State undefeated and in the top 10 in the AP. After the loss though, they start the College Football Playoff Rankings near the bottom. If they want to get back into the conversation, they have some work to do.
KICKOFF: SAT, NOV 5, 6:00 pm CT
WHERE: Milan Puskar Stadium
WEATHER: Clear, light wind, 53 degrees
STREAM LIVE: WatchESPN
TV CREW: Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman
BETTING LINE: WVU -35, O/U 54
Kansas (1-7, 0-5)
Well to say this has not gone well for Kansas is an understatement but at this point they have to be getting used to it. Second year head coach David Beaty has definitely made some improvement over last year. They were close to victory against TCU and were in a game with Oklahoma State for the first two quarters before turnovers ultimately led to a blowout.
Last week Kansas had the task of going into Norman and play Oklahoma which is a tough task no matter who you are. The Jayhawks racked up 170 total yards for the game in a 56-3 game that was only close for a quarter.
This week they get to travel to Morgantown which again is never an easy task and take on West Virginia. Kansas was trending upwards before last week and need to get back on track against a talented team. West Virginia will be without their main running back and Kansas is already solid in run defense coming in allowing an average of 102 yards per game.
Keys To The Game For KU
Limit Turnovers – Cozart needs to limit the mistakes to give Kansas a chance throw a few picks and this game could get out of hand. Make smart throws and don’t put your defense in a tough spot.
Don’t Give Up the Big Plays– In their game against OU they gave up a lot of big plays. If they are going to give themselves a chance they need to not give them up.
Keep the West Virginia Offense on the Sideline – OU racked up the points despite the time of possession being equal if Kansas is going to have a chance they need to sustain drives and stay on the field.
#20 West Virginia (6-1, 3-1)
West Virginia comes in at 6-1 and having one of its better seasons in recent history. Things got a little off track last week when they went down to Stillwater and just flat out did not play well. They turned the ball over three times giving Oklahoma State excellent field position all three times. It is almost impossible to overcome that on the road.
This Kansas game at home comes at a great time I don’t want to say it is like a bye week but more than likely they will not need all their starters playing their best to come out with a win. West Virginia can get stay on pace in the Big 12 title race with a win this week as the race is wide open for teams with one conference loss as they all still need to play each other at this point.
Keys To The Game For WVU
Establish the Run – Kansas defense strength is stopping the run and West Virginia’s top running back (Shell) is out. Despite that they need to find a way to run the ball on the ground against this defense.
Set Up the Big Plays – They didn’t have a lot of big plays last week and it didn’t end well. They need to connect on a couple deep balls to help out the run game.
Don’t Let a Team Beat You Twice – West Virginia was undefeated going into last week and did not have a good showing if they let that affect them this week as well the game could get interesting. Put last week behind them get back on track this week.
There aren’t a lot of people around the country picking Kansas to win this one and I am no different. West Virginia has every reason to come out and beat the snot out of Kansas and they will. Dana Holgorsen will have them focused and ready to go after suffering a loss. Kansas may give them a game for the first quarter but West Virginia pulls away after that at home in a night game Kansas doesn’t stand a chance. If it were in Lawrence I may give the Jayhawks a fighting chance. West Virginia wins 49-10.