Preview for WVU vs. Kansas
A look at what WVU faces this weekend in their first conference road test.
Heading into conference play the Mountaineers sit at 2-1. Traditionally Kansas has struggled over the last decade, and many would consider them at the bottom of the Big 12. This year is slightly different, and the Mountaineers respect the progress the Jayhawk program has made.
Senior offensive lineman Kyle Bosch told reporters earlier this week “for whatever reason their d-line has always been very, very good. Their defense has always been very disciplined and very aggressive. We have a challenge this week, this will be our first, besides Virginia Tech.”
Bosch recognizes the athletic defense that Kansas possess and he is not the only one who notices.The Big 12 recognized junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong jr. in the preseason. Armstrong Jr. made the preseason first team All- Big12 after coming off of a year where he had a total of 56 tackles. Armstrong Jr. also had 10 sacks and 20 tackles for lost last season, making a living in opposing backfields. So far through three games, Armstrong Jr. has 19 tackles and four for losses. Another star on the Kansas defense is Redshirt Junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. Dineen Jr leads the team with 38 tackles and seven tackles for loss through three games.
And although this comes off as a sure tackling team, Kansas is not a playmaking defense. The Jayhawks have recorded two sacks and one interception on the early season. But it is the Jayhawks Quarterback that has led to the team’s progression compared to last year.
The Junior quarterback is the fastest Kansas quarterback to 1,000 yards in a single season, so it is no secret that this kid can sling the ball. Bender has already thrown the ball fifty more times than Quarterback Will Grier has, but has also thrown six touchdown and five interceptions.
Kansas does not feature much of a run game as Bender is there main source of offense. Wide outs Steven Sims Jr. as well as Ben Johnson are Bender’s go to targets as they have a combined 22 receptions 374 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas features a mature wide receiving corp, and the West Virginia Defense will get multiple times to try and intercept and break up passes between a quarterback and wide receivers who have gotten into a grove early on.
One thing is for sure though, the JayHawks are a last opportunity kind of team, or you can call it willing to take risk. Kansas Head Coach David Beaty has been very successful on fourth down, converting 80% of their plays on the traditional field goal and punting downs. So do not be surprised if you see the Jayhawks go for it every time they get a fourth and short.
The Mountaineers should be able to handle Kansas, but do not be mistaken this could end up being a trap game for the Mountaineers