Kansas Jayhawks open 2-0 for first time in 11 years with overtime win over West Virginia Mountaineers

The Kansas Jayhawks were on the right side of multiple snapped streaks on Saturday night in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Thanks to a 55-42 win over West Virginia, KU opened its Big 12 slate with a win for the first time since 2009. It’s also 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2011, and it recorded its first victory over a Big 12 foe by multiple scores since 2014.

It was also the Jayhawks’ first-ever win at Milan Puskar Stadium after dropping their first six games in Morgantown.

Coach Lance Leipold didn’t earn his first road conference win on Saturday night, although he did extend his lead over other recent Kansas coaches in that category. In his first two seasons with the program, Leipold has two road conference wins. The previous five KU coaches, including Clint Bowen in an interim role in 2014, had a combined zero road conference wins from 2010-2020.

WVU started out hot by getting out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before KU started to come alive. Kansas junior quarterback Jalon Daniels connected with senior tight end Mason Fairchild for a touchdown on the opening play of the second quarter to open the Jayhawks’ scoring. The two squads then traded touchdowns going into the break, with sophomore running back Devin Neal scoring on the ground and through the air to help keep the deficit at just seven points going to the half.

Kansas dominated the third quarter with two more scores, including one for redshirt-sophomore running back Daniel Hishaw and the third of the day for Neal.

Despite leading for much of the second, KU couldn’t keep West Virginia out of the end zone at the tail end of regulation, with the Mountaineers tying the game with just 35 seconds left on the clock.

The Jayhawks’ offense continued to roll in the extra session as Daniels hit redshirt sophomore receiver Quentin Skinner for the latter’s first career touchdown, putting Kansas ahead 49-42 following the extra point.

That transferred the pressure to the KU defense, and in the game’s biggest moments that unit didn’t disappoint. West Virginia quarterback J.T. Daniels was intercepted by sophomore cornerback Cobee Bryant, who returned it 86 yards for a touchdown to seal the Kansas victory.

KU has now won its last three games that went to overtime, with the other two coming in 2021 and 2016, both times against Texas.

Jalon Daniels threw for three touchdowns in the Jayhawks’ victory and tallied over 300 yards of offense, passing for 219 and rushing for a team-high 85. Neal had 59 yards from scrimmage alongside his three scores, while Luke Grimm led Kansas in receiving with 66 yards on 6 receptions. West Virginia outgained Kansas in total yardage, but KU won the turnover by 2-0.

Kansas will be on the road again next week to face the 25th-ranked Houston Cougars, who suffered their first loss of the year on Saturday to Texas Tech.