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A (Semi) Statistical Recap of West Virginia

Was that good defense or not? Let’s investigate.

NCAA Football: Kansas at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, Kansas found itself trailing a highly favored opponent by less than two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter.

Once again, the game slipped away.

While the Jayhawks hung around for three plus quarters, offensive ineptitude made it feel like the game was never really in doubt. West Virginia ran 80 plays to KU’s 60. The Mountaineers averaged 6.3 yards per play; Kansas averaged just 4.7.

KU had one of its best showings on third down against West Virginia, but was still less than 50% at 5-12 (41.6%). West Virginia converted 6-12 (50.0%).

Kansas forced four West Virginia turnovers, all by Will Grier (3 INTs, Fumble). However, the three interceptions were all in KU’s end zone, and even the fumble was in KU territory. However, KU had three turnovers of its own, basically negating any advantage gained from Grier’s miscues.

Kansas did attempt two fourth down conversions. On 4th-and-1 in the first quarter from its own 45, KU fumbled and lost 10 yards, and on 4th-and-19 late in the fourth quarter, Carter Stanley threw the ball out of bounds.

The Good

This is gonna sound weird, but the defense that gave up 38 points and 509 yards was actually a bright spot. The Jayhawks had 10 TFL, including 5 sacks, against a West Virginia team that had only allowed 14 TFL in their first four games of the season combined. Kansas actually managed to get some penetration and disruption in the West Virginia backfield, and it showed.

The Bad

See above. Even though they got pressure into the West Virginia backfield, the defense still allowed over 500 yards of offense while WVU won time of possession 34:11 to 25:49.

The Ugly

My word the offense was ugly. Kansas averaged just 6.0 yards per pass attempt, and West Virginia effectively shut down the running game, limited KU to 3.1 yards per rush attempt while holding Pooka Williams to “just” 5.4 yards per attempt.

The Stats

Carter Stanley started but since he has no job security was pulled pretty quickly in favor of Peyton Bender. Stanley finished 5-8 for 15 yards with a fumble and an INT.

Peyton Bender’s line doesn’t look terrible, but it’s hard to say he was super effective either. Bender finished 16-25 for 191 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT.

Pooka Williams was bottled up for 65 yards on 12 carries, with a long of just 16 yards. Williams added 16 yards on 3 receptions.

Khalil Herbert continues to get no respect, picking up 46 yards on just 6 carries.

Jeremiah Booker led KU in receiving with 63 yards on 4 receptions.

Kerr Johnson added 46 yards on 4 catches.

Stephon Robinson also had 4 catches, for 36 yards.

Steven Sims was held to just 7 yards on 3 receptions.

Mavin Saunders, the TE transfer from Florida State, had one 18-yard reception that went for a touchdown.

Daylon Charlot caught an 18-yard TD pass on the final play of the game.

Bryce Torneden led the team in tackles with 13.

Joe Dineen was credited with 8 tackles, including a sack.

Daniel Wise had himself a nice game, getting 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3.5 TFL.

Hasan Defense had 7 tackles and 2 INTs.

Gabriel Rui had no field goal attempts and made both of his PATs.

Kyle Thompson hit 4 punts for a 46.7 yard average.