This was not a pretty win. The 56-34 final score doesn’t look bad, but the game was much uglier than the score. West Virginia apparently decided to be a gracious guest, and play hard (or well) in only even numbered quarters. Kansas outscored WVU by a combined 17-7 in the first and third quarters, but the Mountaineers more than offset that by winning the second and fourth quarters by 49-17.
The Jayhawks had been expected to pass, but instead they crossed up WVU by running the ball. A lot. And successfully. Khalil Herbert torched the WVU defense for 291 yards on the ground, a record for a WVU opponent. It was even better then Gale Sayers ever did while at Kansas. (For those who haven’t heard of the “Kansas Comet” – look him up). Much of the success was a numbers game, as WVU simply did not stack the box, and there were more blockers than defenders at the point of attack. That being said, the front six linemen and linebackers had great trouble getting off blocks, and missed several tackles. This was not a good performance, and does not bode well looking forward to facing more explosive offenses.
[private] The offense was okay. It’s hard to complain about 56 points, but it really could have—and should have—been more. But any offensive issues were dwarfed by the ones on defense.
It appears this team has a focus problem. We saw it against Delaware State. And it showed up again here. When the team is focused, it can play pretty well. But when they have a big lead, or are facing a team they think they should easily beat, they have had some lapses. That it happened two straight games is troubling.
The good news is that all of the remaining teams on the schedule should have WVU’s attention. They also have a week off to heal up injuries (they have really missed David Long at linebacker, and lost a lot of players during the Kansas game). That week can also be spent shoring up some fundamentals and technique. They will need to improve, because the schedule gets much tougher – and the next game is a tough road test against a top 10 TCU team.
Notes: WVU checks in at 23rd in both polls this week…It was a tough weekend against the Texas Longhorns for WVU…The volleyball team lost a heartbreaker in five sets to the #6 Longhorns on Saturday, and the women’s soccer team fell 1-0 at #17 Texas on Sunday…The volleyball team is still showing much improvement, and could be playing at a Top 25 level, though.