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No. 9 West Virginia looks to go 5-0, faces Kansas at home

October 4, 2018

Kansas (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) at No. 9 West Virginia (4-0, 2-0), noon ET (ESPN2)

Line: West Virginia by 29.

Series record: West Virginia leads 6-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

West Virginia’s toughest Big 12 tests are expected to come in November, so the title-seeking Mountaineers first must beat teams that aren’t considered contenders. West Virginia needs to keep its foot on the petal after failing to score an offensive touchdown in the second half last week against Texas Tech. Kansas, which has the league’s second-best pass defense, has lost two straight and is looking for its first league win since November 2016, a span of 12 games.

KEY MATCHUP

Kansas RB Pooka Williams Jr. vs. West Virginia’s rush defense. The Jayhawks freshman leads the Big 12 with 118.5 rushing yards per game. West Virginia has given up just four rushing touchdowns this season and LBs David Long Jr. and Dylan Tonkery are combining for five tackles for loss per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas: QB Carter Stanley. The junior went 24 of 32 for 247 yards and three TDs in his first start last week in a 48-28 loss to Oklahoma State.

West Virginia: QB Will Grier. The Heisman Trophy hopeful has surpassed 300 passing yards in 13 of 15 games since joining the Mountaineers last season.

FACTS & FIGURES

West Virginia S Josh Norwood will sit out the first half against the Jayhawks after he was flagged for targeting on a sideline hit to Texas Tech’s Ja’Deion High. ... Kansas has made eight interceptions this season, including three returns for touchdowns. Two of those came against Rutgers. ... The Mountaineers have scored all 15 times they’ve advanced inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, including 12 touchdowns. ... Kansas WR Steven Sims Jr. is tied for third on the school’s career touchdown list with 17. ... West Virginia is ranked in the top 10 for the first time since early in the 2012 season. West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen can tie Art Lewis for third place in school history with 58 coaching wins. Rich Rodriguez is second with 60 and Hall of Famer Don Nehlen won 149.

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