West Virginia improves to 3-1, overcomes slow start to beat Kansas 38-17

WOAY – Playing in front of fans for the first time in 2020, West Virginia got off to a slow start.

Quarterback Jarrett Doege lost a fumble on the opening drive and defensive back Nicktroy Fortune tipped a ball directly into the hands of Kansas receiver Andrew Parchment. He walked in for a 43-yard touchdown and Kansas led 10-0 just three minutes into the first quarter.

But the Mountaineers shook off their early struggles, Leddie Brown ran for a career-high 195 yards and the team exited with a 38-17 win to improve to 3-1 on the season.

“[I was] excited to see our fans back at Mountaineer Field,” said head coach Neal Brown. “I thought for [10,759 fans] they were loud, they were into it. I apologize, we didn’t give them much to cheer about early… but we did take care of business. I’m proud of our players, staff, [who] responded to adversity.”

As has often been the case this season, the Mountaineers’ defense carried the team for large stretches. They came up with a pair of interceptions in the first half, including a diving grab by defensive tackle Darius Stills. But, the offense failed to capitalize on either.

That unit finally broke through late in the third, when star running back Leddie Brown exploded for a 87-yard touchdown to give the team a 24-10 lead. It was the longest run by a Mountaineers player since Noel Devine had an 88-yarder against Pittsburgh in 2009.

West Virginia would score on three of their final four drives. Despite his continuing turnover struggles, Doege finished with 318 yards and three touchdowns.

Next up, West Virginia takes on Texas Tech at home next Saturday.