Kansas athletics

Kansas senior James Sims breaks away for a 68-yard run, one of his three touchdowns in a 31-19 victory over West Virginia.

 

LAWRENCE, Kan. — To combat 50-mph winds gusting across the Kansas plains, Charlie Weis opted to rely on his running game.

Not that the Jayhawks had much of a passing attack to fall back on, but for Saturday at least, one dimension was plenty for Kansas.

James Sims piled up 211 rushing yards—two large chunks of that coming on second-quarter runs of 62 and 68 yards—and the hapless Jayhawks walloped West Virginia 31-19 to end a 27-game Big 12 losing streak.

“It felt amazing looking up at the scoreboard and seeing us on top and them down,” said Sims, a senior who had suffered through a 1-31 conference record in his KU career before Saturday.

“Our whole preparation the whole week was to be physical up front. Give props to those guys up front.”

Props aside, Sims made his first long run primarily on individual effort, evading WVU defensive end in the backfield on what looked to be a negative play. Some 62 yards later, Sims was pushed out of bounds at the Mountaineers’ 10 by Karl Joseph.

“Will had his arms around him. He’s bear-hugging him. Should have been a TFL,” said West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. “Got him wrapped up, but doesn’t finish the play. Guy breaks out and now he’s gone.”

That Sims run set up his own 3-yard score two plays later, putting Kansas ahead to stay 10-7 with 7:47 to go in the half.

“It’s like getting hit with a punch,” Patterson said.

Just 39 seconds before intermission came another, Sims delivered another haymaker when he popped free on a 68-yarder. Patterson thought his unit had the play defended perfectly, only to see Sims burst through the line untouched and blow past hobbling West Virginia safety Darwin Cook, whose day was done with a leg injury.

“They went unbalanced and we’ve got almost everybody on the defense over there,” Patterson said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Sims’ breakaway runs helped Kansas reel off 31 unanswered points and compile 315 yards rushing.

“I felt like those two run plays was what ended the game,” said West Virginia nose tackle Shaq Rowell. “Sims came out today—forget the offensive line—I felt like he was tired of losing and that guy got that ball and ran like a possessed man.”

With Sims working through a season-high 22 carries, Weis didn’t require much from true freshman quarterback Montell Cozart, who threw for 61 yards on 5-of-12 passing.

“We knew we were going to run the ball a bunch,” Weis said. “We knew it was going to be windy and that was going to affect the passion game for both teams. We kept giving the ball to James and he kept giving us yards.”

Sims later tacked on a 2-yard run for his third touchdown, all coming in the south end zone where Kansas students took down the goal post in the aftermath.

“It’s wonderful feeling,” he said.


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Comments

  • Dave in Motown

    Yes the D-backfield was beat up but the D-Line was healthy for this game. The D-Line was terrible at best.

  • OKANYDAY

    From what I saw at VT last week in basketball, I was certainly not impressed with the way "Huggy Bear" performed as head coach. Nothing out of him but screaming out at the players, and then turning around and waving his arms and hands at our coaches and players on the bench. He most likely was perceived as a screaming idiot in front of everyone. And Holgerson is not a head coach for an FBS power school; maybe an OC, but not head coaching material whatsoever ! My opinion only.

  • JayhawkFan

    Welcome to the world of being glad basketball season is here, but yesterday's game made it 'a great day to be a Jayhawk fan, wherever you may be.' Rock Chalk Jayhawk - KU.

  • William

    Don't worry Mountaineer fans, basketball season is here.
    IT'S A SAD TIME TO BE A MOUNTAINER FAN, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE!

  • William

    When you hire guys with poor CHARACTER, things could end up in a big MESS!
    WVU Football & Basketball

  • leroy j gibbs

    This was a pretty bad loss .football is a business. I predict dana will either be fired or be demoted to offensive coordintor

  • Jack

    Kansas snapped a 27 game conference losing streak thanks to WVU. When the conference door mat gives you a beat down, you become the door mat. The football program is in shambles. The thing that disturbs me is that I did not see any improvement between the first game and the last game. As players get experience, they should show improvement.

  • Doug

    We just dont have the players. I am just as frustrated as anyone. If your trying to do 200mph a Yugo won't get you there. Doesn't matter who is driving.

  • WV Bud

    We surely do need a quarterback and better players.Evidently the arent very good. But Luck as us in the Big 12.Did you all think it would be as easy as the Big East? Come on.

  • wvrefugee

    This cluster starts at the top....The Board of Governors! Payne and Alvarez are cancers using their positions to their own advantage! Media contracts, pushing Luck as the new AD, the ouster of Bill Stewart, getting your son a scholarship....I could go on and on! it's time to clean this house and beginning at the top will do nicely!