The Mountaineers met the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas for another Big 12 match-up. The Jayhawks behind running back James Sims throttled the Mountaineer's hopes of becoming bowl eligible. Kansas defeated West Virginia 31-19.
It would be Paul Millard getting the start for the Mountaineers after questions were swirling all week as to who would be under center against Kansas. Millard would finish the day 23 for 42, 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions.
Millard and company came out and right away handed the ball off to Charles Sims. Sims busted through the Kansas line and picked up 27-yards. Millard then found a short pass to wide receiver Mario Alford who took it for 30 more yards down the field. Millard then threw a screen pass to Sims, who took the ball into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. It took only 6 plays for WVU to find the scoreboard. The Mountaineers would lead 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Mountaineer's running back would finish the day with 16 carries for 99 yards, one rushing touchdown and once receiving touchdown.
Kansas was also searching for a quarterback coming into this match-up. Montell Cozart, the true freshman would come out for Kansas' first drive. Cozart went 5 for 12 for 61 yards on the day. The Jayhawks also looked to J.Sims to pick up yardage. J. Sims who picked up 28-yards after 4 carries while Cozart threw his first pass for a 19-yard completion to wide receiver, Andrew Turzilli. The West Virginia defense would hold the Jayhawks in the red zone, surrendering only a field goal. Kansas kicker, Ron Doherty would cut into WVU's lead making it 7-3.
The Mountaineers' offense would return to the field as Millard found success with a few more screen passes. The Jayhawks defense was able to force WVU to go three and out for the first time in the game.
The defense for the Mountaineers would return the favor as the Jayhawks would punt it away. The Jayhawks caught a break as Jordan Thompson would muff the punt and set WVU up at their own 5-yard line.
Dana Holgorsen's offense would continue to give the ball to Sims while mixing in various screen passes but that wasn't enough as the Jayhawks' defense caused WVU to punt once more to begin the second quarter.
The rushing attack for Kansas found an early boost from running back Brandon Bourbon who picked up a 17-yard gain to begin Kansas' first drive of the second quarter but the West Virginia's tight defensive front kept the Jayhawks in check as Kansas went three and out.
Alford would pick-up a big play on the Mountaineers next series as he caught a pass from Millard that went for 46-yards. After offensive pass interference was called on Kevin White and a sack by Kansas' Kevin Young, the offense would be unable to continue their drive, stalling just past midfield. Nick O'Toole would be brought on to punt, O'Toole managed to pin Kansas just outside their 10-yard line.
Cozart would fire a 17-yard strike to Justin McCay on the Jayhawks' next possession while J. Sims took a handoff for a big 62-yard gain setting Kansas up on West Virginia's 10-yard line. The Jayhawks would continue to pound the ball as J. Sims punched it into the end zone on a 3-yard rushing touchdown. This capped off a 5 play, 85-yard scoring drive. Kansas would take the lead, 10-7 midway through the second quarter.
The offense for the Mountaineers faced heavy pressure from the Jayhawks' defense as another sack for a 4-yard loss was taken by Millard. The Mountaineers had to punt from their end zone and the Jayhawks were set up with excellent field position at the 50-yard line.
Nick Kwiatkoski and Kyle Rose for the WVU defense displayed tremendous effort as Kansas did nothing with their field position. Kansas would punt the ball landing just past the Mountaineer's 20-yard line.
The Mountaineer's would look to gain some momentum back as the offense strung together a few good plays but the Jayhawks' defense continued to look stout as the Mountaineers sent O'Toole out once again.
J. Sims would continue his dominance as it took only one play for Kansas to make it 17-7 right before the half. J. Sims scored a 68-yard touchdown as the Mountaineers defense struggled to keep up with Kansas' rushing efforts. J. Sims would finish the game with 22 carries, 211 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
WVU would attempt to get some points on the board before the half. After a good pick-up from Thompson, WVU would be in field goal range. The Mountaineers would send out Josh Lambert for the kick but the attempt was blocked as Kansas carried all of the momentum into the locker room at the half.
The Jayhawks would start the second half with the ball but would do nothing with it. A 10-yard punt from Kansas set WVU up on the Kansas side of the field for their first possession of the second half.
Millard was intercepted on the Mountaineers first drive of the second half. Millard threw a poor pass as Goodman picked it off and returned it for 54-yards down the field. The interception would set Kansas up deep in Mountaineer territory.
Kansas would capitalize on the turnover. J. Sims ran the ball in from two yards out, his third rushing touchdown of the day. A five play, 14 yards scoring drive gave Kansas a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter.
After the two teams exchanged three and outs, Millard and company would turn the ball over on downs after four consecutive deep balls were unable to connect. The Mountaineer's offensive struggles rolled on as the third quarter came to a close.
To start the fourth quarter, Travis Bell for the Mountaineer's defense would come up with a big stop. Kansas attempted to go for it on a fourth and two but thanks to Bell the Jayhawks turned it over on downs.
The Mountaineers would try to find some kind of answerer but the only thing they'd found is another turnover. Millard threw his second interception of the day. Ben Henney was able to return the pick to the one yard line.
From the one yard line, Kansas would hand it off to Bourbon who scored Kansas' fourth rushing touchdown of the day. Kansas would increase their lead to 24-7.
Back-to-back pass interferences allowed West Virginia to move the ball down the field on their next possesion. Millard found Kevin White in the end zone as West Virginia tried to narrow the deficit. After a failed two point conversion attempt, Kansas would lead 31-13 late in the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineer's defense came up with a fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter. Kwiatkoski recovered the ball in an effort to find some late game heroics. The Mountaineer offense would find the end zone once more; Sims would go in untouched from 6-yards out. A second failed two point conversion attempt left the score at 31-19, Jayhawks.
However, there just wasn't enough time for Holgorsen's team to dig themselves out of a large hole. The Mountaineers struggled to contain Kansas' running game while Millard and the offense couldn't get anything going all day. West Virginia's post season hopes are now gone as they are no longer in the hunt for a bowl game. WVU drops to 4-7 on the season.