Kansas Jayhawks vs West Virginia Mountaineers quicklook. Here we go!
There are BIG games in college football…#1 vs #2, playoff games, rivalry games…this is not one of those.
But then there are games that tell you a lot about your team…test games. This is a test game for KU. The offseason of hope, the new culture, all the new faces…this week is when we actually see if it all comes together against a traditionally strong opponent.
Kansas and West Virginia played once in 1941…the only really notable fact from that game was that Bob Dole (Honorable Mention all-time KU starting 11 offense) started at End and Basketball Coach Ralph Miller started at Defensive End. KU lost 21-0 in a very mediocre season. The Jayhawk vs Mountaineer series didn’t pick up again for another 71 years. In 2012, KU and WVU began a yearly series, with WVU having the upper hand. Including the 1941 game, KU is 1-10 vs the Mountaineers, with the only win coming in 2013 under Charlie Weis. WVU is currently on an 8 game winning streak vs KU.
KU opened as a 13.5 point underdog to WVU…that line has moved to 12.5 over the last 3 days, indicating that the bettors out there see KU covering. The Over / Under is 59.5 points. I don’t bet anymore, but if I did, I’d take KU and the Over all day.
KU comes into the game healthy, with no suspensions and no major injuries. WVU, playing last week against Pitt, lost pre-season All Big 12 cornerback Charles Woods to a knee injury and his status for the KU game is uncertain. Also missing time will be WVU senior Safety Wesley McCormick, who will sit the first half of the game after receiving a targeting penalty vs Pitt.
For a great recap of WVU’s loss to Pitt last week, check out Tom Kuznar’s great piece here.
Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki on this week’s gameplan:
“Every game you play, you’re evolving,” he said. “You’re learning about your players, you’re learning about your opponent, you’re learning about your current players’ strengths and weaknesses and how they compare to your upcoming opponent. There’s always significant improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 if you allow yourself to focus on what you need to improve from Week 1.”
Wide reciever Quentin Skinner, when asked what how the offense is approaching this week’s opponent:
“Keep attacking each day and have fun,” he said. “This game’s fun. That’s why we play it in the first place. Have fun doing it with your team, with your people and just keep grinding, daily.”
Players to Watch
Jalon Daniels. We know he’s a great athlete and we know he can run the ball. He throws it exceptionally well also. Is this the week that Andy Kotelnicki opens up the playbook and takes downfield shots? We know WVU will have to honor the KU run game–look for deep shots if WVU plays more than 6 in the box on early downs.
Lonnie Phelps Jr. As the current Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, all eyes on the WVU Offensive Line will be on Phelps. Will WVU respect Phelps? If they slide their protection towards him or help out with a RB or TE in pass protection, will another Jayhawk player emerge? Sam Burt? Disrespecting Phelps will result in a long day for WVU. Watch the Jayhawk star (#47) on obvious passing downs.
Watch Details / Prediction
KU and West Virginia are slated to kickoff at 5 p.m. Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia on ESPN+. Tune in to see how the Jayhawks fare in a big test game.
Courtney Lyle is ESPN+’s play-by-play announcer for this game. Forrest Conoly is the analyst and Tori Petry will report from the sidelines.
In our preseason prediction, we have this being a close game:
Week 2 is an away game in Morgantown, WV against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Moutaineers went 6-7 last year, but played well at home, going 4-2. This will be a great indicator for the Jayhawks season…a win here is a great sign. Jayhawks win a close one, 42-38. Jayhawks 2-0.
Kansas Jayhawks vs West Virginia Mountaineers quicklook. Let’s get ready for great game and Jayhawk win.
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