Another week, but the same story for the Kansas football team.
Once again, the Jayhawks fell behind in an early first-half hole and couldn’t recover. This time, No. 14 West Virginia scored on three straight drives in the second quarter Saturday and cruised to a 48-21 victory over the Jayhawks at Milan Puskar Stadium.
It was the first time the Mountaineers (7-1, 4-1 in Big 12) scored more than 40 points this season, led by five touchdowns from Skyler Howard — two rushing, three passing.
After a field goal and two three-and-out punts on their first three drives, the Mountaineers scored touchdowns on six of their next eight drives against KU’s defense. WVU running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy combined for 256 yards and a touchdown on 31 attempts.
The Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6), who have lost 40 consecutive road games, showed some life in the second half, but never pulled closer than three scores.
Senior running back Ke’aun Kinner started the scoring following a fumble recovery by linebacker Courtney Arnick in the third quarter. On five straight runs, Kinner completed the 29-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge into the end zone.
Redshirt freshman Carter Stanley, who entered midway through the third quarter, threw touchdowns in the second half. He found running back Taylor Martin on a check-down pass, and Martin showed off his speed on a 45-yard score. On the next drive, Stanley connected with Steven Sims Jr. for an 11-yard TD pass.
Junior quarterback Montell Cozart completed 11 of his 24 passes for 124 yards and an interception. Stanley finished 9 of 11 passing for 127 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Steven Sims Jr. was the top receiver with nine catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Midway through the second quarter, the Mountaineers scored on three straight possessions to turn a 10-point lead into a 31-0 advantage at halftime. That included two touchdown passes from Howard in the final 3:04 of the half, a seven-yard pass to Daikiel Shorts and a 19-yard strike to Shelton Gibson.
It was the most points scored in the first half by the Mountaineers this season, taking most of the competitiveness out of the second half.
• Offensive highlight: After Dorance Armstrong forced a fumble and Arnick recovered to give the Jayhawks a short field in the third quarter, Ke’aun Kinner ran the ball five straight times on his way to a two-yard touchdown run. It was the first time the Jayhawks scored a touchdown in seven quarters.
• Defensive highlight: At the beginning of the second quarter, the Jayhawks made a goal-line stop after the Mountaineers had first-and-goal from the one-yard line. After an incomplete pass, the Jayhawks stuffed three straight run plays, including a stop in the backfield on fourth down by redshirt freshman Shaquille Richmond.
• Key stat: Total yards. Known more for their defense than offense, the Mountaineers racked up 605 yards of offense (341 rushing, 264 passing). Even when the Jayhawks pushed West Virginia into bad field position, the Mountaineers made explosive plays to drive down the field.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will return to Memorial Stadium for two straight games, starting with Iowa State at 11 a.m. The Jayhawks are looking to end 18-game losing streak against Big 12 opponents. Their last win was against Iowa State on Nov. 8, 2014.