MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Saturday, it will be the first time this season that the West Virginia University football team will play in front of fans at Milan Puskar Stadium this season.
The Mountaineers (2-1, 1-1 Big 12) are coming off a bye week. Two weeks ago WVU pulled out a thrilling double overtime victory over Baylor.
Despite coming out on top, the Mountaineers’ offense struggled most of the game, where turnovers plagued the team for a second consecutive game.
WVU’s offense ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 44th nationally in first downs this season with 71 total. They have recorded at least 18 first downs in all three games.
Against Baylor, the Mountaineers converted all three fourth down attempts.
Offensively, WVU has found success on the ground, averaging 177.0 rushing yards per contest, which ranks fourth in the conference and 32nd in the country.
Leddie Brown has been a force to reckon with in the Mountaineers’ ground game. In three games, the junior has had 320 yards total, the most since Justin Crawford in 2017.
Last game, Brown had a career-high 27 carries against the Bears.
In the air, WVU is averaging 263.7 yards per game while the receiving corps are catching 65.8 percent of their passes this season.
Through the first three games, quarterback Jarret Doege is averaging seven yards per pass attempts with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Jayhawks (0-3, 0-2) are winless this season and haven’t had much success in the past against WVU. Kansas has never won a game in Morgantown.
The Jayhawks have played three different players at quarterback this year.
However, Miles Kendrick was named this week’s starter. He has completed 26-of-43 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Also, Kendrick has a set of legs and is a threat to run the ball.
Having a running quarterback, occupies the entire defense and could open up space for the explosive Pooka Williams.
The junior is one of the Big 12’s top running backs and is on-pace to become the school’s all-time leading rusher. He had over 2,000 yards rushing in his first two seasons.
Last year, the Mountaineers’ defense limited the speedy Williams to just 65 yards.
Les Miles, who tested positive for COVID-19 will not make the trip.
WVU’s defense has been stellar thus far. The Mountaineers are the only Power 5 school in the nation to rank in the Top 20 in rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, scoring defense and red zone defense.
WVU is ninth in the nation in sacks (3.67) and No. 13 in tackles for loss (8.7). Senior Darius Stills is 16th in the country in tackles for loss and 41st in sacks.
Neal Brown is 1-0 against Miles . Troy upset LSU when Miles was the head coach.
The Mountaineers lead the series 8-1 over Kansas.
Kickoff is at noon (ET) and televised on FOX.
Cover Photo Credit: Ben Queen- USA Today Sports