WVU will welcome fans, not Kansas and its coach, Miles
Four games into the college season, West Virginia finally will welcome thousands of people to a home football game. Kansas will not, however, have coach Les Miles there.
Miles announced last week that he tested positive for COVID19 and has quarantined at his home.
Miles, 66, said he was cleared to travel, but “after much consideration and several in- depth conversations with the medical team, our coaching staff, and Kansas Athletics administration,” he made the decision not to make the trip.
Joshua Eargle will serve as the Jayhawks interim coach against the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers ( 2- 1, 1- 1 Big 12 Conference) are allowing up to 15,000 fans, or 25% of the stadium capacity, when they welcome the Jayhawks ( 0- 3, 0- 2).
In two previous home games, only the families of players and coaches were allowed to attend.
“I’m excited about welcoming back our fans,” said West Virginia coach Neal Brown. “We’ve missed them. We’ve missed our season ticket holders. We’ve missed our students and we’ve missed our alumni. I anticipate a great atmosphere.”
West Virginia has won six in a row in the series.
Both teams are looking to get more out of their offenses. Kansas ranks last among the 76 Football Bowl Subdivision teams that have played with 8.2 passing yards per completion. West Virginia is 59th at 10.6 yards.
Brown said he’s looking for either broken tackles on runs or more explosive pass plays. Jarret Doege threw 42 passes in a double - overtime win over Baylor but had just 211 yards.
Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker said if long passes fall incomplete, West Virginia needs to keep throwing them.
” Back from where I grew up, there’s an old adage: You can’t win the Kentucky Derby by screaming ‘ whoa,’” Parker said. “We don’t want to sit there and say whoa. We want to say go, go go.”
Kansas has given significant playing time to several young players on defense. Eliot said Kansas has had missed opportunities with three dropped interceptions and three forced fumbles that weren’t recovered.
“We’re developing some depth at these positions, so hopefully we can get the play count down by each player and we can get some fresh guys out there that can play hard and play aggressive,” he said.
Brown is wary of two Kansas stars who have not quite gotten on track this season.
Running back Pooka Williams is coming off back- to- back 1,000 yard seasons. The 2018 Big 12 offensive freshman of the year has yet to surpass 100 yards in a game in 2020.
“I fully expect them to line him up all over the field,” Brown said. ” He’s a lot stronger than people give him credit for.”
Andrew Parchment caught five passes for 132 yards and two scores in a 29- 24 loss to the Mountaineers a year ago. The senior has 75 receiving yards this season, including a touchdown.
“The Parchment kid really hurt us last year,” Brown said.