West Virginia falls as Kansas snaps Big 12 losing streak
College Football Videos
LAWRENCE, Kan. — As far as Dana Holgorsen is concerned, West Virginia's 31-19 loss to Kansas on Saturday is a good reminder of what he's been telling his players since they switched conferences two years ago.
“I've warned them — this is different from the Big East,” the Mountaineers coach said. “You can't show up and be average.”
Losing to a Big 12 bottom feeder which had lost 27 consecutive conference games means the Mountaineers (4-7, 2-6) will not be going to a bowl game.
“Our team's not good enough to where we can show up and play average and beat anybody,” Holgorsen said. “That's obviously what happened today.”
James Sims rushed for a career-best 211 yards and three touchdowns as the Jayhawks (3-7, 1-6) won their first conference game since besting Colorado on Nov. 6, 2010.
“Their O-line whipped us,” Holgorsen said. “We didn't tackle very good.”
Charles Sims rushed for 99 yards for West Virginia and Paul Millard, making his third start, was 23 of 42 for two touchdowns and two very damaging interceptions.
“We were moving the ball fine in the first half, we just couldn't finish our drives,” Millard said.
Thousands of fans poured out their pent-up frustrations by storming the field, embracing gleeful players and coaches and tearing down the south goalpost. Right in the middle of the throng, laughing and hugging as much as anybody, was second-year head coach Charlie Weis.
“My enjoyment doesn't come from me,” Weis said after his fourth victory in almost two full seasons. “I enjoy watching (the players) have fun. I do enjoy watching the smiles on everyone's faces. My true enjoyment is watching everyone else be happy. And you want to know something? That's pretty nice.”
It was not a big crowd that braved winds gusting near 50 MPH to see the Jayhawks. Attendance has been spotty while Kansas fired two coaches and plunged into deep mediocrity after winning the 2008 Orange Bowl. Weis admitted he was “a little surprised” to see so many people run onto the field.
“I turned around and all of them were out there,” he said. “Actually, it was kind of nice. It was kind of nice.”
Sims broke runs of 62 and 68 yards while Kansas recorded just its second Big 12 win in 40 games and ended any bowl hopes for the Mountaineers “I was planning on going to a bowl game,” said coach Dana Holgorsen. “We've got to evaluate where we're at. We've got to continue program development.”
West Virginia took a 7-0 lead on its first possession, a long drive against the wind. But the Mountaineers were unable to generate anything more until two meaningless touchdowns with less than five minutes to play.
The Jayhawks, who came into the game 117th in the NCAA in total offense and 116th in scoring, rushed for 315 yards against a Mountaineer unit ranked No. 100 in total defense.
With the Jayhawks trailing 7-3 midway through the second period, Sims broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and fled 62 yards down the sideline to the 10. A minute later, he went over from the 3. Then with 28 seconds left in the first half, the 6-0, 200-pound senior bolted through a big hole and went 68 yards virtually untouched, giving him 14 100-yard rushing days, No 2 on the school's all-time charts.
“I looked up at the Jumbotron and could see there wasn't anybody behind me,” he said with a grin.
When Sims powered his way into the end zone from three yards out to make it 24-7 following a West Virginia turnover in the third period, it was Kansas' biggest lead over an FBS opponent since mounting a 21-point advantage against Baylor in 2011.
On a first down from the Kansas 30, Millard fired the ball right into the arms of Ben Goodman standing near the line of scrimmage. Goodman rambled 54 yards until Millard pushed him out at the 14.
“I was reading the quarterback and I put my hands up and all of a sudden I had the ball,” said Goodman. “I was trying to run as fast as I could, which I guess wasn't very fast because the quarterback caught me.”
After Montell Cozart went around right end for 7 yards, Sims scored his third TD. Then Ben Heeney intercepted Millard's pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 28 yards to the 1, setting up Brandon Bourbon's touchdown plunge.
The Mountaineers, who were making their first trip to Lawrence, drove 75 yards with their first possession and scored on Charles Sims' 12-yard catch-and-run from Millard. Millard threw a 3-yard touchdown to Kevin White with less than 5 minutes to play. With 28 seconds left, Charles Sims scored on a 6-yard run for the Mountaineers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- All-Stars consider it a privilege to take part in game
- ‘Free’ wine kiosk initiative costs state Liquor Control Board $300K
- Study of vets supports PB pills, genetic variations linked to Gulf War illness
- Chips in pucks, jerseys could alter how NHL games are analyzed
- Penguins’ Fleury surrenders 7 goals in 1 period of NHL All-Star Game loss
- Central Catholic’s Petrishen says he enjoys hectic recruiting process
- One of two killed in Marine chopper crash was from Indiana, Pa.
- Project to End Human Trafficking volunteers help Uganda
- Linemen commit to PSU, boosting Franklin’s recruiting class
- Pittsburgh police rescue 1-year-old buckled into stolen car