When you listen to WVU Defensive Line Coach, Bruce Tall, you’ll hear him say, “We want to play fast, but not so fast we are out of control”.
Against Kansas the WVU defense played out of control, allowing Kansas 50 rushes for 367 yards. The Jayhawks running backs took advantage of the lanes vacated by the WVU defense for big yards. Kansas running back Khalil Herbert took the biggest advantage of these unprotected lanes with 39 carries for 291 yards.
Fans also saw missed coverage by WVU defensive backs, and some sloppy tackling. WVU’s defense for the most part tried tackling Khalil Herbert high, and it didn’t work.
Offensively, WVU struggled in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th. WVU QB Will Grier wasn’t as sharp with his passes, and the WVU receivers had problems holding on to catchable balls. WR Ka’Raun White dropped what should have been a touchdown.
But not all was bad for WVU: WVU’s defense did have 3 take aways. The first interception was by Sr CB Mike McDaniels Jr who returned his interception for a 25 yard touchdown. Sr LB Al-Rasheed Benton returned an interception for 38 yards. Probably the biggest play by a WVU player came late in the 4th when Fr DL Lamonte McDougle forced a fumble by Jay Hawk QB Payton Bendor which was recovered by Fr S Dylan Tonkery. This gave WVU the ball late in the 4th deep in Jayhawks territory. WVU capitalized on the fumble by scoring another touchdown. This TD ensured WVU’s win.
The Mountaineers led at half time 35-10. The Jayhawks cut into the 25-pt lead by outscoring WVU 14-0 in the 3rd.
QB Will Grier finished the game completing 25 of 39 passes for 347 yards, with one interception and a QBR of 88.3. A Jay Hawk defender took this ball away from WVU WR Ka’Raun White. Grier was sacked once.
WVU had 2 running backs with over 100 yards rushing: Justin Crawford had his 4th straight game with over 100 yards rushing carrying the ball 18 times for 125 yards, and Kennedy McCoy had 12 carries for 105 yards.
WR David Sills led the receiving core with 8 receptions for 130 yards.
WVU’s defensive leader of the game was Sr LB Al-Rasheed Benton with 12 tackles, 11 of which were solo, a QB hurry, and an interception.
WVU has a lot to improve upon before facing TCU in 2 weeks.