WVU Football: Four Players Who Led Mountaineers Victory Over Kansas


Morgantown celebrated Homecoming in style on Saturday as the West Virginia Mountaineers put up 26 unanswered points in the first half to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 33-14 in Big 12 action at Milan Puskar Stadium.

WVU racked up 25 first downs and 557 yards of total offense on the afternoon including a season-high 255 rushing yards. On the other side of the field, the Jayhawks finished the day under interim head coach Clint Bowen with nine first downs and 176 yards of total offense.

While Dana Holgorsen’s squad improved their record to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12 Conference, it was not a picture perfect day as they fumbled twice, threw an interception and had a field goal blocked.

Time to grab another cup of coffee as we sit back and take a look back at four players that helped WVU to get its Homecoming victory.

1) Rushel Shell averaged 5.4 yards per carry on Saturday as he ran for 113 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound running back from Hopewell, PA also caught two passes for a total of 12 yards.

2) Kevin White, the leading receiver in the Big 12 Conference, had a good day at the office as he had six receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior’s longest catch went for 63 yards.

3) The Big 12’s leading quarterback, Clint Trickett completed 20 of 35 for 302 yards, one touchdown and one interception. However, his completion rate of 57 percent was his worst outing of the season.

4) The first nine points on the scoreboard were courtesy of placekicker Josh Lambert. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound redshirt sophomore converted field goals of 42, 25 and 43 yards in the first quarter, and then added a 53-yarder at the end of the second quarter. He also made all three of his extra-point attempts.

Offense Honorable Mentions: The coaching staff had praise for a pair of redshirt seniors on the offensive line. Right guard Mark Glowinski and left guard Quinton Spain helped the running game achieve those 255 rushing yards against the Jayhawks.

Defense Honorable Mentions: Redshirt senior linebacker Wes Tonkery was second on the team with four solo tackles and assisted on one more for five total stops while also sacking the quarterback and breaking up two passes on the day. Meanwhile, redshirt junior linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski led the way with 6 solo tackles and an assist on one more for a total of 7 stops against Kansas.

Special Teams Honorable Mention: Senior wide receiver Mario Alford out ran the Jayhawk defenders for a 94-yard kick return at 4:04 of the third quarter. It was his second kickoff return for a touchdown this season.

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After the contest, Holgorsen told wvusports.com, “I can’t say enough about the performance the defense put up, forcing them to punt 14 times is amazing. That number will probably go down a little bit if we could get a turnover every now and then, which is mind boggling that we are not able to get some. We will continue to address that.”

Kansas got on the scoreboard at 4:18 of the third quarter when senior Justin McCay recovered junior wide receiver Jordan Thompson’s fumble of Trevor Pardula’s punt and freshman running back Corey Avery capped off a seven play, 26-yard drive with a four yard touchdown run.

The Jayhawks second touchdown came at 2:33 of the fourth quarter when senior wide receiver Nick Harwell returned junior Nick O’Toole’s punt 76 yards for a touchdown.

West Virginia seeks their second victory on the road as they journey to Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock on Saturday, Oct 11 to take on the Texas Tech University Red Raiders (2-3, 0-2 Big 12). Kick off is set for 12 noon ET and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.