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West Virginia vs. Kansas: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas at West Virginia

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our West Virginia vs. Kansas preview and prediction.

Game info

When: Saturday October 6th @ 11 A.M. CT

Where: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, WV

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KU/WVU IMG Network

Key Players

Kansas

QB Carter Stanley- Carter started his first game of the 2018 season last week at home against Oklahoma State. After a 247 yard and 3 touchdown performance, he will get the nod once again this weekend against WVU. Even though the Jayhawks lost last week, Carter played the best game that any quarterback has played so far this season for Kansas. He brought a little spark to the offense that Kansas desperately needs.

RB Pooka Williams Jr.- Speaking of sparks, true freshman RB Pooka Williams Jr. is the engine that runs this offense. He didn’t even play in the opening game and has averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground in the last 4 weeks. While he hasn’t been consistent the last 2 weeks, he has a knack for breaking a long run or two during a game. Even with issues up front on the offensive line, Pooka is still able to make things happen with the football in his hands.

DT Daniel Wise- Even after a few quiet games, Daniel Wise is still on of the best defensive tackles in the Big 12. He has the capability of disrupting offenses not only in the run game but in the passing game as well. He will need to unleash all his energy in this game to create havoc on this high-powered offense and the best way to do that is right up the middle.

West Virginia

QB Will Grier- I am not sure what to say but to show you some numbers here. So far in only 4 games Will Grier has thrown 17 touchdowns and only 3 picks! Oh yeah, he’s also completing over 70% of his passes too. Will is averaging over 370 yards passing per game and so far, this season has lived up to every bit of the hype and then some. Will Grier is the real deal.

WR Marcus Simms- While many folks outside of West Virginia are aware of WR David Sills scoring touchdowns left and right, don’t sleep on Marcus Simms. Simms is the guy who just simply gets the job done. While he may not score a ton of touchdowns, he is still one of if not the favorite target of QB Will Grier this year. He has plenty of big play capability and he will have his chance to show it with a bad Kansas team coming to town.

LB David Long Jr.- While his numbers may not be through the roof like they were last season at this point, David is still the captain of this defense. He had his season breakout party last week against Texas Tech where he had 15 total tackles and was all over the place. His most important task this week? Trying to keep Kansas RB Pooka Williams Jr. in check.

 

Key Storyline

Defense, Defense, Defense

To me, it’s simple for this one. Who can stop who here? I know it’s a cut and dry storyline, but I really feel like this one fits since both offenses appear to be the strength of these two teams right now (Kansas is debatable). For West Virginia, if they can stop RB Pooka Williams, they should have no issues in the football game. That must be goal number one for WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.

For Kansas, they need to somehow find a way to get Will Grier out of rhythm much like Texas Tech did in the second half of their game last weekend in Lubbock. Whether it’s throwing out different looks or getting creative with pressure, Kansas needs to figure out a way to try and slow down this air it out attack.

Prediction

West Virginia: 45, Kansas: 17

Do I really need to explain my prediction? Kansas is Kansas and West Virginia is well, West Virginia. I don’t see the Jayhawks slowing down this high-octane offense and with a poor second half performance on defense last week against Tech, WVU will be all over the Kansas offense in this one. The Mountaineers will be way too much for the Jayhawks to handle.

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