LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas snapped one long streak last week after a brutal loss to Coastal Carolina the previous week and looks to snap another Saturday when they host a rebuilding West Virginia team that got back into the win column last weekend. The Jayhawks blasted Boston College 48-24 to defeat a Power Five school for the first time in 48 tries (Oct. 4, 2008; Iowa State) and will try and end a nine-game losing streak in Big 12 openers as well as a five-game skid to the Mountaineers.
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN-Plus. LINE: West Virginia -4.
A Kansas offense that generated 567 yards and scored its most points in a road win since beating Oklahoma 52-24 in 1996, was led by 187 yards rushing from senior Khalil Herbert and 122 yards from sophomore Pooka Williams Jr. "Our football team felt terrible after the (Coastal Carolina) loss, and it wasn't something that was easy to get rid of," said first-year coach Les Miles referring to the 12-7 loss to the Chanticleers. "They had a vision of a day like today and ... so they went to work. ...Those things are going to happen more regularly with our program and at a great school like Kansas." The Mountaineers, with only three returning starters from a team that averaged 40.3 points last season and who had three first-time starters on the offensive line against North Carolina State last week, entered with an FBS-worst 1.1 yards per rushing attempt before running for 173 yards in a 44-27 victory. "We really struggled to run the ball so we just tried to find ways to put our offensive line in a better position, and I thought we did that in general," first-year coach Neal Brown said. "I thought our running backs ran the ball harder and were more decisive. There was less hesitation by them, and I thought that was a huge factor."
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (2-1)
One week after a 38-7 blowout loss at Missouri in which the Mountaineers were outgained 382-171, Austin Kendall completed 27-of-40 for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Kennedy McKoy finished the game with 66 yards rushing on 10 attempts and two TDs - two more yards than the entire team produced in its first two games against James Madison and Missouri - and the Mountaineers could have had at least 51 more if not for Sam James' first-quarter jet sweep being credited as a pass instead of a run. Three freshmen receivers helped infuse some needed life into the offense: James caught nine passes for 155 yards and a score; Winston Wright had four catches for 13 yards and Ali Jennings had three catches for 28 yards, including a fourth-quarter TD.
ABOUT KANSAS (2-1)
Senior quarterback Carter Stanley, following a poor performance against Coastal Carolina (107 yards passing , two interceptions) rebounded from an interception on his first pass attempt against the Eagles by completing 12 straight and finished 20-of-27 for 238 yards and three touchdowns to help the Jayhawks give Miles a win in his 200th career game. Herbert, who has rushed for 357 yards and a 9.9 yards-per-carry average, recorded the longest rush of his career for 82 yards - the second-longest non-scoring play in Kansas history. Stanley's top target was junior wide receiver Andrew Parchment, who finished the game with eight catches for 100 yards and two TDs - his second 100-yard receiving game of the season.
1. West Virginia won last season 38-22, but the Jayhawks intercepted Mountaineers star QB Will Grier three times and battled back from being outgained 345-78 in the first half. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 7-1.
2. Herbert has had some success against West Virginia, rushing for 291 yards - third on Kansas' all-time list - and two TDs on 36 carries as a sophomore in 2017.
3. The Kansas defense has held opponents to just six scores in 12 trips to the red zone through the first three games, ranking at the top of the Big 12 Conference and tied for fourth in the FBS.
PREDICTION: Kansas 27, West Virginia 20