VICTORY! Kansas downs West Virginia, ends conference losing streak

Jamie Squire

The Kansas Jayhawks shed a conference losing streak dating back to 2010 with a 31-19 victory

I'm 30 years old. I was sober. I had my son with me. It was only a win over an unremarkable West Virginia team that was just knocked out of bowl contention. But as I looked down at the field and saw students, kids and adults running onto the field, I thought "what the hell." We ran onto the field, sang the alma mater with the team, and got our picture taken with some of the players (Ben Heeney is not as big in person). A 31-19 win over West Virginia out of context is a poor excuse for storming the field and throwing the goal posts into Potter Lake, but after 1000+ days without a conference win, it felt right. And it's a birthday my son, who was starting lose his faith as a KU football fan, won't soon forget.

Anyway, onto the game. It looked all too par for the course early, as West Virginia quickly rattled off 75 yards and 7 points on the opening drive. Kansas managed to move the ball on the ensuing drive, but came away with only 3. Given how effortlessly the Mountaineers had scored on the opening possession, this one already seemed out of reach (as ridiculous as that probably sounds to anyone who doesn't follow Kansas football closely). What happened over the next three quarters was anything but ordinary.

A 62 yard run by James Sims set up a go-ahead score halfway through the second quarter, and Kansas would not trail again. After a late stop with less than a minute remaining in the half, Sims would reel off another 60+ yard run, this one going to the house, and Kansas went up 17-7 going into the locker room.

The second half saw West Virginia put up some yards, but never really threaten, while the Kansas running game was effective in moving the ball and keeping the clock moving. The defense's impressive performance was highlighted by two big interceptions, one by Ben Heeney, the other by Ben Goodman, both featuring nice returns. Kansas was up 31-7 with five minutes remaining, and that score would really be far more indicative of how this game went down. West Virginia put up two "oh, by the way" touchdowns off lax defensive sets, but this was a game we thoroughly won.

You could make a case for several players, but the game ball today has to go to James Sims, whose 211 yards and 3 scores led the way for the Jayhawk offense. Montell Cozart looked good leading the offense, and despite lackluster passing numbers, played the entire game and looked like a more than capable leader. Heeney's pick sealed West Virginia's fate, and Ben Goodman added six tackles, a sack, and a blocked field goal to his interception.

There were some flaws, and Kansas was the beneficiary of some dropped West Virginia passes, but overall Kansas dominated a football game today. We can talk about negatives later. Go out and enjoy yourselves tonight, Jayhawks!The Kansas Jayhawks shed a conference losing streak dating back to 2010 with a 31-19 victory

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