🏈 Jayhawks Win in Overtime at West Virginia, Move to 2-0
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Kansas Football claimed a dramatic overtime victory at West Virginia on Saturday evening, overcoming a 14-point first-half deficit to earn a 55-42 victory at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The win is the Jayhawks’ first-ever win over the Mountaineers in Morgantown. Kansas trailed by 14 three times in the first half, including 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
After WVU tied the game with 35 seconds to play, the Jayhawks got the ball first in overtime. Kansas got a fresh set of downs from the 10-yard line following a roughing the passer call on WVU. KU cashed in on its set of downs when Jalon Daniels found Quentin Skinner in the end zone for his first career touchdown reception, a four-yard catch that put KU up 49-42.
KU would close out the game with an interception from Cobee Bryant, who jumped a WVU route for a pick-six, the Jayhawks’ second takeaway of the game, to make the final score 55-42.
Kansas moves to 2-0 on the year for the first time since 2011 and picks up a win in the Big 12 opener for the first time since 2009. This is also KU’s first win in a Big 12 conference opener on the road since 2008.
"It’s a big win and I’m so proud of our guys. We got off to a slow start. Penalties hurt us early and hurt us late. We said it was going to be a four-quarter game, but we didn’t know it would go plus. I’m so proud of their resilience and how they have gone about it. This is a good win to build off of."Head Coach Lance Leipold
The Jayhawks first score came on a nine-play drive that spanned 79 yards and took 5:01 off the clock. It was punctuated by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to tight end Mason Fairchild on the first play of the second quarter, marking the second straight game Daniels and Fairchild hooked up for a touchdown after a 2-yard score in the opener against Tennessee Tech.
After another touchdown drive from the Mountaineers to go up 21-7, the Kansas offense again responded. This time, Daniels orchestrated an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:49 and ended with a six-yard touchdown rush from Devin Neal, his first of three total touchdowns on the night.
West Virginia answered, scoring a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-14 with 3:11 to play until halftime. The Jayhawks perfectly executed its final drive, going 75 yards in 10 plays, taking up 2:42 of game time to score and make it 28-21 with just 29 seconds to play in the half. WVU ran out the clock and went into intermission with that score.
KU got the ball first in the second half and needed just eight plays to go 75 yards, as a 40-yard strike from Daniels to Skinner set up the game-tying touchdown, a three-yard plunge from Daniel Hishaw. The touchdown, Hishaw’s second in as many games, knotted the score at 28-28 with 11:32 to play in the third.
Momentum remained with the Jayhawks as KU forced West Virginia to punt on its next drive. Although Kansas was also forced to punt, the Jayhawks’ Torry Locklin recovered a muffed punt from WVU, which put KU in position to take its first lead of the night. The Jayhawks would do just that six plays later, as Neal found the end zone for the third time on the night, a two-yard touchdown run to put KU up 35-28 with 4:00 to play in the third.
West Virginia would get a field goal on its ensuing drive, cutting the Jayhawks lead to 35-31 with 12:58 to play. It would only take KU four plays to extend its lead as the Jayhawks marched 65 yards in 1:56, capped off when Hishaw broke away for a 30-yard touchdown – his second on the night and third of the year. That score would give Kansas its first two-score lead of the day at 42-31 with 10:59 to play.
WVU drove 64 yards in 14 plays on its next drive, but the Jayhawks held the Mountaineers to three points and maintained a full score lead of 42-34 with 4:04 to play.
Kansas would punt the ball back to West Virginia with 2:17 to play and the Mountaineers used a 12-play, 85-yard drive to score a touchdown and tie the game with 35 seconds to play after a successful two-point conversion.
Next up for the Jayhawks is a trip to Houston on Saturday, Sept. 17, to face a future Big 12 Conference foe, the Houston Cougars, in a non-conference matchup. Kickoff of that game is slated for 3:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU from TDECU Stadium.