11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 17th, 2020; Milan Puskar Stadium; Morgantown West Virginia
TV: FOX Sports 1 (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Chuck McDonald)
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni); Mountaineer Sports Network (Tony Caridi); Sirius 136, XM 199
Fun Fact: The last meeting took place in Lawrence with West Virginia winning 29-24. The Mountaineers lead the series, 8-1, with the loss coming in a 31-19 loss in Lawrence in 2013.
QB Miles Kendrick
Kendrick has been named the starter (for this game) over true freshman Jalon Daniels. Kendrick is completing 61% of his passes this season for 246 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Against Oklahoma State, he went 11/19 for 90 yards with one pick. We’ll see if Kendrick can get any momentum to try and solidify this position for the Jayhawks.
Safety Kenny Logan Jr.
Logan leads the team with 26 tackles, ranking fourth in the Big 12 with 8.7 tackles per game. Last season, he had 14 total tackles in 12 games as a freshman. So he’s quickly making a major impact for KU. Against Oklahoma State, he racked up a career-best 12 tackles. Logan is also the younger brother of Brandon James, one of the most prolific kick returners in SEC history at Florida.
West Virginia Mountaineers
RB Leddie Brown
Brown is ranked No. 17 nationally in rushing yards per game (106.7), No. 18 in rushing touchdowns (4), No. 22 nationally in rushing yards (320) and scoring (10.0) and No. 28 in all-purpose yardage (125.0). After struggling mightily in the running game last season (as a team), Brown is leading the charge for the unit that is seeing vast improvement this season.
DL Darius Stills
Stills is No. 16 nationally in tackles for loss (4.5) and No. 41 in sacks (2.5). Stills is the Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and thus far has been living up to the expectations. This comes after last season’s campaign, where he led WVU in tackles for loss (14.5) and tied for the team lead with seven sacks.
Kansas needs to do something it hasn’t done this season: start forcing turnovers and take those turnovers and turn them into points. KU is -4 in turnover margin this season with zero takeaways this season. The Jayhawks need to be better on defense in the red zone, as they right now rank last in the Big 12. The other best thing for KU to win this game would be for Miles Kendrick to go off and have the game of his life and then solidify the starting QB job for the Jayhawks for the rest of the season! Is all that asking too much?
West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers need to do what they do well and expose what KU does poorly: get to the quarterback. We mentioned Darius Stills earlier, but don’t forget about his brother, Dante, who has 3.5 tackles for loss this year as well. As a team, WVU has 11 sacks in three games, which is the second most per game in the Big 12 behind only Oklahoma State. Meantime, KU has given up 15 sacks in three games. Those 5.0 sacks allowed per game are well ahead of Baylor, who is second worst in the conference, giving up 3.5 sacks per game.
West Virginia 42, Kansas 17
We still have a lot to learn about the Mountaineers. Is the running game really this vastly improved? Can Jarret Doege play more consistently at QB? But one thing we do definitely know: Kansas is bad. Really, really bad. WVU’s strengths play into KU’s weaknesses and I expect Neal Brown and company to have their way against a KU team that has also had upheaval with Les Miles’ COVID contraction last week as well.
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