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First Half Thoughts From West Virginia - Kansas

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The offense is hot and the defense is not

West Virginia v Kansas Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The West Virginia Mountaineers enter the locker room up 35-13 but fans have to be worried about the defense. Kansas has less than 270 total yards. 191 of those yards have come from running back Khalil Herbert.

On its opening drive, Kansas marched 14-plays down the field to take a 3-0 lead. Tony Gibson’s defense continually blitzed itself out of run gaps allowing Herbert to make a cut and gash the defense. Kansas ran the ball 12 times on the opening drive.

West Virginia did not immediately respond, punting on its first drive. The defense stepped up and forced Kansas off the field. Then Will Grier and the running game took over.

The Mountaineers had four straight touchdown drives that went at least 80 yards before punting on their last possession of the half. Cornerback Mike Daniels helped the defense by picking off a screen pass from Peyton Bender and racing 25 yards for a defensive score.

Notes from the first half:

Will Grier has been efficient, completing 13-of-19 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown.

Justin Crawford is on his way to another 100-yard game. He has gained 89 yards on 13 carries and scored one touchdown.

Kennedy McKoy has reaped the benefit of Crawford’s workload, scoring two touchdowns.

David Sills had a beautiful fingertip grab that went 49 yards for a touchdown.

Kansas is averaging 9.0 yards per rush, thanks to a 67 yard touchdown scamper by Khalil.