WVU football manages to win on the road at Kansas

LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 23: Justin Crawford
LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 23: Justin Crawford /

A win is a win. The WVU football team struggled at times, but still managed to earn a Big 12 victory on the road at Kansas on Saturday.

The Mountaineers are now 3-1 on the year and head into a much-needed bye week. The Mountaineers got out to a sizable early lead against the Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium, but the hosts battled back early in the second half.

In the end, the WVU football team string together nice offensive possessions and pulled away for a three-score victory, 56-34. What’s positive is that the West Virginia offense is playing well. Scoring more than 50 points is no easy task and the Mountaineers have already done that three times this season.

What is the most concerning is giving up 34 points to a struggling team like Kansas. Not only that, the Jayhawks torched the Mountaineers for 564 total yards. Now, the WVU football team did outgain the Jayhawks as the Mountaineers piled up 635 yards.

But Khalil Herbert, one of our projected players to watch for Kansas, had a record-setting day with 291 rushing yards and two touchdowns. That is unacceptable against any team, especially Kansas. It’s hard to fathom that the Mountaineers could win a game against any team in the Big 12 this season when giving up that kind of yardage to one player.

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Meanwhile, the WVU football team had its own field day with quarterback Will Grier leading the way. The standout junior transfer from Florida was 25 of 39 passing for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Grier’s top receiver was David Sills who had eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Grier hit a total of seven receivers for at least one catch.

Gary Jennings six catches for 75 yards and Marcus Simms had four catches for 68 yards. Grier did throw an interception and he fumbled once, but overall it was a clean performance by the Mountaineers always strong offense.

"“We’re doing some good things but we’ve got to play better for the entire game,” Grier told WVUsports.com. “We’re leaving a lot of stuff out there and a lot of stuff we can do to be better. You’ve got to take this win, build off of it and move forward.”"

It seems that Grier realizes that his team can play better. The Mountaineers have yet to reach their full potential. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good because there is so much more this team can accomplish. But, this could also be the ceiling for this team.

The bad thing is the WVU defense gave up so many yards on the ground, but the Mountaineers were no slouch running the ball either. Two players went for more than 100 yards with Justin Crawford totaling 125 yards and a touchdown and Kennedy McKoy, back from a one-game suspension, scoring two touchdowns and adding 105 yards.

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There are many positives to take from this game. Still, there are other negatives that could hold the Mountaineers back from a run to the Big 12 Championship game.