WVU will wel­come fans, not Kansas and its coach, Miles

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - College Football -

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.

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