Mountaineers Escape Kansas With Victory In Big 12 Opener

Mountaineers Pull Away For Win At Kansas

After running out to a seemingly safe 25-point second quarter lead, West Virginia found itself in a dogfight at Kansas.

KU cut the Mountaineer advantage to one score, 42-34, midway through the fourth quarter, but WVU responded with a pair of TDs to salt away the 56-34 victory.

West Virginia improved to 3-1 with the win, while Kansas fell to 1-3.

Jayhawk running back Khalil Herbert streaked through the Mountaineer defense with regularity. He had 191 yards at halftime and finished with 291, which is the most rushing yards WVU has ever permitted to an opposing individual. It eclipses the 272 yards gained by Pitt running back in 2000 at Three Rivers Stadium. As a team, KU ran for 367 yards on West Virginia and added 197 more through the air, as Jayhawk quarterback Peyton Bender completed 17-of-32 passes but was intercepted twice and coughed up a fumble.

West Virginia’s own offense racked up a ton of yards itself. Quarterback Will Grier was 23-of-39 throwing the football for 347 yards with two TDs and one interception, while running back Justin Crawford added 125 yards. Grier has thrown for at least 300 yards in all four games this season, while Crawford has rushed for at least 100 in each of those. WVU has also had at least 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards as a team in all four games of 2017. Sophomore running back Kennedy McKoy added 125 rushing yards and two TDs of his own. Grier also rushed for two touchdowns. As a team, West Virginia totaled 288 rushing yards, which when combined with its 347 passing gave it 635 yards of total offense. It’s the first time in its history that a WVU football team has had over 280 rushing yards and 340 passing yards in the same game.

The Mountaineers will enjoy a much-need open date next weekend before returning to action on Oct. 7 against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.