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West Virginia Mountaineers vs Kansas Jayhawks: Season 125, Episode 4 - Tastes Like Chicken

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The Mountaineers open conference play with a visit from the bottom feeding Jayhawks

East Carolina v West Virginia Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

When/Where

Date: September 23, 2017

Time: 12:00pm EST

Venue: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS

Watch/Listen

TV: ESPN U

Streaming: WatchESPN or the WatchESPN app

Radio: Click HERE for a complete list of radio affiliates in West Virginia. If you live outside of the state, or don’t live close enough to a radio affiliate, you can listen to the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMGon TuneIn Radio.

Odds

Spread: West Virginia -21 (Oddshark)

O/U: 71

UniWatch

West Virginia:

A clean blue-white-blue look for the Mountaineers this week. I've always enjoyed this look, though as was pointed out in the thread alert, we don't have the best record when wearing them.

Know the Enemy

Series History: 5-1 in favor of the good guys, with the lone blemish coming in Lawrence during that disastrous 2013 campaign.

Record: 1-2. The Jayhawks opened the season with an impressive victory over Southeast Missouri State before consecutive losses to Central Michigan and Ohio.

Head Coach: Dave Beaty. Beaty is in his 3rd year in charge of Kansas and seems optimistic about the direction his program is heading, despite lacking the results to back up that sentiment. They did beat Texas though.

Offensive Coordinator: Doug Meachem. Meachum is in his first year in charge of Kansas' offense after sharing those responsibilities at TCU during the previous 3 seasons.

Defensive Coordinator: Clint Bowen. Bowen is in his 4th year as DC, but it's his 18th year in the program. He's previously headed up the linebackers, safeties, and special teams over two separate stints in Lawrence.

When we have the ball

Players to watch: LB Joe Dineen, DL Dorance Armstrong, DB Mike Lee

Through 3 games, Kansas ranks at or near the bottom of the conference in pretty much every major defensive category. Especially notable is their susceptibility to big plays in the passing game. They've allowed 13 such plays so far this year, and if you've watched us at all since Dana Holgorsen came to Morgantown, you know that we're extremely effective at attacking people downfield through the air. Will and the boys should have a field day.

Key to the game: Let Will do what he does

When they have the ball

Players to watch: QB Peyton Bender, RB Khalil Herbert, WR Steven Sims, TE Ben Johnson

Kansas has been slinging it all over the field this year with QB Peyton Bender, and they've actually been surprising effective at it. Bender is 4th in the conference with just a shade over 340 yards per game. Unfortunately for them, the running game has yet to really get going, with no member of the team averaging more than 50 yards per game against some fairly average competition. However, we're last in the conference in both rushing yards allowed per game and explosive running plays allowed against some equally average competition, so I think it's crucial that we come out tomorrow and start conference play off on the right foot. If we can stop the run and win early downs, Bender is bound to make some mistakes. Despite his high ypg average, he's still only completing 58% of his passes on a conference-low 7.1 ypa, so if we make him push it downfield on 2nd or 3rd and long, I suspect he'll throw 1 or 2 right to us.

Key to the game: Win early downs, DISCIPLINE ON 3RD FFS

Special Teams

Players to watch: KR Ryan Schadler

Not too much of note regarding Kansas' special teams. Their punter is only marginally better than ours and their kickoff man is even worse. The one thing that stood out is that their kick returner is the conference leader among qualifying players with a 26 ypr average. Nothing gets a home underdog juiced more than big plays in the 3rd phase, so we need to do everything we can to avoid that (including kicking the ball out of bounds, if necessary).

Key to the game: No big kick returns

Final Thoughts/Prediction

This is not basketball and it's not 2013. Is Kansas better than ECU? I don't know. Good guys roll. Bring on TCU.

West Virginia 49 Kansas 13