MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Saturday, West Virginia defeated Kansas 38-17 at Milan Puskar Stadium. While it wasn’t always pretty at times, the Mountaineers improved to 3-1 on the season and there were plenty of positives and negatives on the day.
- WVU’s defense is one of the best in the country:
The Mountaineers defense continues to get the job done. On Sunday morning, WVU’s defense was No. 1 in the nation in total defense. The defense held the Jayhawks to 95 yards passing and 62 rushing yards. Pooka Williams is one of the best running backs in the league and the Mountaineers held him to just 21 yards. As a unit, the defense had 64 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five sacks, three pass breakups and two interceptions. Alonzo Addae and Darius Stills both had picks. Stills’ was impressive and came in at No. 10 on Sports Center’s Top 10. In a game where the offense once again struggled, the defensive unit held up. In the final 30 minutes, Kansas, managed only two first downs, went three-and-out on four of their six possessions, totaled only 17 yards.
2. Leddie Brown is a one-man wrecking ball:
Once again, Leddie Brown continued to rack up the numbers. In fact, the junior carried WVU’s offense most of the day. He had 185 yards rushing and one touchdown. In the third quarter, Brown had an 87-yard touchdown run.
3. The Mountaineers offense struggled but finished strong:
WVU’s offense is extremely frustrating at times. Most of the game, the Mountaineers’ offense couldn’t capitalize on opportunities, turned the ball over and dropped passes. Quarterback Jarret Doege looked better towards the end of the game than he did at the start. He finished the day completing 26-of-44 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. However, the redshirt junior made several bad passes. WVU’s wide outs dropped several passes on Saturday afternoon. TJ Simmons fumbled the ball on the opening drive, giving the Jayhawks the ball at the Mountaineers 23-yard line. The offensive line missed some blocks. WVU’s running game was the consistent bright spot on the day.
4. Penalties still problematic:
Once again, the Mountaineers struggled with penalties. WVU had eight penalties for 76 yards. It’s not the physical penalties but the little ones that add up like the false starts.
5. Special teams continue struggles:
The Mountaineers’ special teams had a few penalties, including one on Alec Sinkfield’s 22-yard punt return that was called back. Evan Staley missed a 44-yard field goal attempt. Then there was the Pooka Williams’ 92-yard TD return on a late kickoff.
At the end of the day, WVU came out on top but eventually the mistakes could become costly. While defenses win championships, the offense needs to become more consistent for the entire game.