Football season is heating up with the NFL getting started this week and college football continuing. We’ll get you caught up on some of the big college football matchups around the nation in Week 2.
Kansas Jayhawks (1-0) at West Virginia Mountaineers (0-1)
@ Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, WV.
How to Watch:
- Saturday, September 10th
- 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+
- Spread: West Virginia -13
- Over/under: 57.5 points
To kick off Big 12 Conference Play, the Kansas Jayhawks are coming off of a blowout win against Tennessee Tech, with the Jayhawks having positives all across the board.
The West Virginia matchup at Pittsburgh didn’t carry the same emotions as Kansas’s win.
With the revival of the Backyard Brawl, the Pitt Panthers knocked off the Mountaineers in a thrilling 38-31 contest for the schools’ first matchup since 2011. Pitt redshirt junior defensive back M.J. Devonshire picked off Mountaineer junior quarterback JT Daniels for a 56-yard return that put the Panthers on top with under three minutes left in the game.
Following the devastating loss for the Mountaineers, it would be safe to say that they’ll have some fire in them as they prepare to face the Jayhawks, and the Backyard Brawl defeat is enough reason for West Virginia to come out swinging on Saturday against Kansas.
For the 2021 season finale, Kansas hosted West Virginia in what was one of the several contests in which the Jayhawks played competitively last season but ultimately fell at the end. In the 34-28 win for the Mountaineers, they added yet another tally to the win column in their matchup history against the Jayhawks.
Kansas’ last, and lone, win against the program dates back to 2013 under former head coach Charlie Weis, and it’ll certainly be a challenge as the team heads to historic Morgantown. Though the Jayhawks are coming off a win, it’ll be a massive leap for this squad against a Power Five school compared to the run game they produced against Tennessee Tech, where they rushed for 207 yards all night with six touchdowns. But as the Jayhawks continue to make improvements off of last season, continuing to at least stay competitive against the Mountaineers in week two will still show the culture change under head coach Lance Leipold as the program trends upward.
Players to Know:
Season stats: 189 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 83.3% completion percentage
Junior quarterback Jalon Daniels seemingly secured his position as the starting quarterback for the Jayhawks after a shining performance against the Golden Eagles. In the 56-10 win, Daniels led the team in passing yards with 189 on the night and found success with his targets all night, completing 15 of 18 passes and one passing touchdown. Additionally, Daniels wasn’t afraid to be mobile, as he added 23 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Season stats: seven total tackles, six solo tackles, three sacks
In a contest where Kansas defense held Tennessee Tech to just 10 points, redshirt junior defensive end Lonnie Phelps led the way with his week one performance. The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week led the team with seven total tackles and three sacks from last week’s win, and the University of Miami (OH) transfer has strong potential to keep up this pace against JT Daniels in Morgantown.
Season stats: 214 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 57.5% completion
Following the week one loss, the Georgia transfer is more than ready to show how he’s fit to be the answer for West Virginia. Against a solid Pitt defense, Daniels went 23-40 for 214 yards on passing and put up two touchdowns. Under Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Daniels went 7-0 as starting quarterback during his Bulldog tenure with 1,953 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in his two seasons with the team before transferring to West Virginia over the summer.
Season stats: 97 yards, nine receptions, two touchdowns
Two of the three passing touchdowns in West Virginia’s week one loss are accredited to the redshirt junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Ford-Wheaton put up 97 reception yards, averaging 10.8 per reception on 9 catches in the game. With Ford-Wheaton being one of Daniels’ weapons, it could be a long game for the Jayhawk defense.