Kansas at West Virginia prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Jayhawks and Mountaineers.
Kansas at West Virginia Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 5 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Unbeaten no longer. But a ton out there still left to be achieved. West Virginia’s perfect season ended in Stillwater last Saturday in a disappointing 37-20 loss to Oklahoma State. Still, while margin for error and a long-shot playoff bid have now evaporated, the Mountaineers can capture the Big 12 by taking care of business over the final five weekends of the regular season. The journey begins with this week’s visit from 1-7 Kansas. The Jayhawks haven’t won since the opener with Rhode Island, dropping each of the last three games to Baylor, Okie State and Oklahoma by at least 24 points.
What To Know About Kansas
The Jayhawks have taken marginal steps forward in David Beaty’s second season, though the team struggled badly against the better Big 12 teams during October. The offense is inept, switching from quarterbacks Ryan Willis and Montell Cozart, and the defense struggles at the point of attack, a particular worry against this week’s opponent. Receivers Steven Sims and LaQuvionte Gonzalez are playmakers, while safety Fish Smithson and linemen Daniel Wise and Dorance Armstrong Jr. have been the team’s most consistent stoppers on defense.
What to Know About West Virginia
The Mountaineers, rock solid throughout the first half of the season, were exposed last week. The O-line allowed four sacks, quarterback Skyler Howard was picked twice and the secondary was burned for the first time all year. It was a rude awakening from which West Virginia must rebound. The Jayhawks yield 39 points per game and five yards a carry, so this should be a good spot for the offense to regroup. Look for Dana Holgorsen to ride backs Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell, if healthy, while getting the ball in the hands of playmaking receivers Daikiel Shorts, Ka’Raun White and Shelton Gibson.
Offense: West Virginia. More effective than explosive, the ‘eers need to protect Howard so that he can deliver the ball with his feet set in the pocket.
Defense: West Virginia. Yeah, breakdowns in the secondary need to be fixed, but the Mountaineers are still a full cut above the Jayhawks on D.
Special Teams: Push. Both teams are having problems on special teams, though Mountaineer P Billy Kinney has shown off a very strong leg.
Coaching: West Virginia. Holgorsen has improved his standing in Morgantown this season, while defensive coordinator Tony Gibson has had a terrific year.
Intangibles: West Virginia. The Mountaineers are happy to be back home, and they understand what’s at stake in the Big 12 now that they’ve suffered a loss.
Matchup To Watch
Armstrong vs. West Virginia LT Adam Pankey
Armstrong is the one player from the Jayhawks capable of making life miserable for Howard, while forcing him into a second straight rough outing. The sophomore is undersized and quick off the edge, leading the Big 12 with a dozen stops for loss and eight sacks.
Kansas at West Virginia Betting Odds
Spread: West Virginia -34.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Kansas at West Virginia Prediction
West Virginia is in an ideal position to rebound, hosting a fading Kansas team. The Mountaineers will keep the Jayhawks reeling by pounding them on the ground and forcing turnovers against the erratic and inconsistent Cozart. Crawford and Shell will wear down the Kansas defense with a steady diet of runs between the tackles, helping free up Howard on play-action to rebuild his confidence after last week’s Oklahoma State loss.
Kansas at West Virginia Score Prediction: West Virginia 43, Kansas 13