Observations: West Virginia Mountaineers football vs. Kansas
Each week WVSports.com Managing Editor Keenan Cummings provides a look at some of the things that stood out to him during the course of the game and on the stat sheet.
These observations are a snap shot of what unfolded in the West Virginia 38-17 home win over Kansas and what could happen next for the Mountaineers.
--Tip of the cap to the West Virginia defense. Take out the turnover which resulted in a field goal and a pass that should have been intercepted that resulted in a touchdown and the Mountaineers simply smothered the Jayhawks offense. The Mountaineers allowed 63 yards on the first two drives and then permitted 94 yards on the next 13 with two turnovers forced. How good was the unit? When the game was within reach, they only permitted two chunk plays over 10+ yards and held the Jayhawks to 2-13 on third down. The defense held the Jayhawks to 2.9 yards per play.
--If this offense is consistent with anything, it’s with its inconsistency. The Mountaineers couldn’t get out of their own way for significant stretches in this game and every time it felt like the offense had generated some momentum, they would shoot themselves in the foot. It’s scary to think how bad this unit would look if junior running back Leddie Brown wasn’t in the lineup. But he is and when they needed a play, he continued to deliver time and time again. The offense rolled up 38 points and 534 yards (third best yardage output of the Neal Brown era) and didn’t play anywhere near it’s best. Yes, it’s Kansas but can this group get out of its own way and string some things together with any semblance of consistency?
--The one bright spot? Brown of course. He has gone over 90+ yards in every game this season on the ground and has eclipsed 100-yards in three of them. It’s the first time a West Virginia player has rushed for at least 90+ yards in four straight games since Justin Crawford did it in 2017. His 87-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is the longest since Noel Devine traveled 88 yards against Pittsburgh in 2009. He continues to run with decisiveness and tacklers just bounce off of him as he keeps his leg moving and has displayed an ability to show burst as well. He also was effectively used in the passing game in this one and is simply the best player on that side of the ball. At 507 yards through four games he has already surpassed his entire rushing total for all of last season at 360.
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