No. 20 Mountaineers climb over Jayhawks, 48-21

West Virginia might have been singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” but so were the Jayhawks following their 48-21 loss to the Mountaineers. Kansas, now 1-8, was sent packing in a game that elapsed almost four hours.

Kansas’ miscues started on the opening kick. Concluding a Kansas touchback, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Jayhawks set West Virginia up at their 40-yard line. On the second play of the game, QB Skyler Howard found Shelton Gibson for a 40-yard completion. KU stalled the Mountaineers and forced them to a 35-yard field goal. Kansas’ first drive started with two first downs, but it was grounded on a Montell Cozart interception. The Jayhawks responded to the turnover with an impressive defensive stand. All three of the Mountaineers’ plays ended with negative yardage, forcing them to punt.

Last week, the Jayhawk offense couldn’t find the end zone in a 56-3 drubbing from Oklahoma. The same result played out in the first quarter for the Jayhawks. After two KU three-and-outs, West Virginia found the end zone on a quarterback keeper for a 10-0 lead.

The Jayhawks finally showed a glimpse of improvement to start the second quarter. After West Virginia drove 94 yards down the field, they were stopped on fourth and goal at the 2. Much of the Kansas football frustration has been centered through the offense all season, as they have squandered many of the Jayhawks defensive stands. That same problem resinated on the Jayhawks’ next drive. Following yet another three-and-out, West Virginia added seven points to the scoreboard on a 32-yard Skyler Howard touchdown run.

David Beaty toned down his conservativeness for at least one drive, as he opted for the Jayhawks to go on fourth down in Mountaineer territory. Unfortunately, the play ended in a turnover, and West Virginia quickly turned their ensuing drive into points, to take a 24-0 lead. By halftime, the Mountaineers led 31-0.

If you went to Vegas and bet that the Jayhawks would go three-and-out over 20 times, you might have made bank.

Morgantown is definitely not Las Vegas, but there definitely was a handful of unfinished possessions. Cozart and the Jayhawk offense definitely looked atrocious in the first half, but it alleviated its struggle on a Ke’aun Kinner two yard scamper for a touchdown. But, much like Kansas football in general, the excitement was short-lived. West Virginia effortlessly out-played the mediocre Jayhawk defense for yet another score. It was that time in the weekend when Jayhawk fans would rather flip the remote and watch Alabama, or even election coverage, although it seems everyone is trying to avoid it at this point (like Kansas football).

Right when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, Jayhawk lineman Daniel Wise was issued an ejection for “slugging a Mountaineer in the throat.” The only other time that I’d ever heard of such a thing was on one of those wilderness survival shows when a bear attacked the cameraman. That show, sadly, was more entertaining than any Kansas football game in recent memory.

Did you think there could be any better news following the ejection? I hope not. After a (productive) Jayhawk drive, a field goal attempt was muffed on the snap, leaving the score at 38-7. West Virginia would add another touchdown to the scoreboard, but so would the Jayhawks. Carter Stanley, who entered the game at quarterback and played quite well in garbage time, found Taylor Martin for a 50+ yard touchdown.

Stanley was the guy the Jayhawks needed. Following a botched WVU field goal, the Jayhawks marched all the way down the field and scored off a pass to Steven Sims. Only a West Virginia field goal occured in the game’s final 10 minutes.

Hey, basketball season starts this week.

Up next for KU football: vs. Iowa State next Saturday at 11:00 am. The Cyclones, like KU, are 1-8. It’s the best chance for a Jayhawk football victory until 2017.

Stats:

KU 0 / 0 / 14 / 7 – 21
WVU 10 / 21 / 14 / 3 – 48

M. Cozart: 11/14, 124 yds, 1 INT
C. Stanley: 9/11 , 127 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
S. Sims: 9 rec, 124 yds, 1 TD