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Mountaineers plow through early Big 12 slate

By Staff | Oct 5, 2018

SHEPHERDSTOWN — In the Big 12 Conference, the question has never been “How?” or “How many?” or “How pretty?” It’s simply been “Did you manage to win?”

And West Virginia has managed to win the four times it has played this season.

Mostly-disregarded Kansas is next up for the eighth-ranked Mountaineers.

A scary second half against Texas Tech followed a brighter-than-the-sun first half versus the Red Raiders.

It was a road game. And any win on the road in the Big 12 is hard to be too critical of again this season.

There are only 14 undefeated teams left, and WVU is one of those fortunate few.

Following a fruitful 35-6 victory in Morgantown over Kansas State, the Mountaineers sparkled in gaining a 35-10 lead over Texas Tech, but then that high-tide half was grudgingly gone by the fourth quarter, when West Virginia had failed to score again and Texas Tech was chewing back and trailed only 35-27.

The Red Raiders had possession at their own 47 as the clock dwindled down.

It was then that Keith Washington made a critical interception and bypassed the Red Raider quarterback on his way to a game-clinching score. The count was back to 15 points and time was almost gone.

This Kansas game has a noon starting time. The upwardly mobile Mountaineers now average 42.5 points a game and 531 yards of total offense per outing. Quarterback Will Grier is sailing along with 372.75 passing yards a game.

Grier has three receivers all bunched in a productive heap with nearly the same number of receptions. Marcus Simms has has 24 catches for 433 yards and two scores. David Sills V has 23 receptions for 294 yards and five scores. And Gary Jennings has 22 catches for six touchdowns and 311 yards.

Grier’s touchdown passes have numbered 17 on 98-for-136 passes with three interceptions.

Kansas has been in the dungeons of college football for years. When the Jayhawks lost this year’s opener to Nicholls State, people in Lawrence were dismayed. Then came victories against Rutgers and Central Michigan before the latest losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State. Only 18,364 attended the home-field loss to Oklahoma State.

The Mountaineers have been led by David Long, Jr. and his 46 tackles, while Kenny Robinson has 26 stops and two interceptions.

Thousands upon thousands of WVU fans are searching the horizon waiting for the games against Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Christian and Oklahoma State. It’s lightly regarded Kansas before any of those conference teams come to town or are seen on the road.