Kickoff: 6 p.m. Central time Saturday
Where: Booth Memorial Stadium, Lawrence
Radio: WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City, KFH (1240 AM) in Wichita
The line: West Virginia by 15 1/2.
Maybe KU quarterback Jalon Daniels is simply a magic man.
In his first two starts of the season, Daniels has given KU two of its best QB performances in recent history in previous weeks against Texas and TCU. He, more than anyone else, has been the reason that KU has performed over expectations lately.
Believing he can carry KU a third week, though, might be asking a bit much given the team’s current roster constraints.
Because of injuries and attrition, the Jayhawks are down to one scholarship running back and likely will only be playing walk-ons at the tight end and fullback positions on senior night. While KU offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki has impressively MacGyvered his way to success despite these challenges, at some point, one has to figure that KU’s limitations with its offensive personnel packages and calls will lead to a dropoff in production.
KU’s defense has reason for concern too. The Jayhawks have created some big plays and come through on critical fourth downs in the last two contests, but on a play-by-play basis, they still have mostly been dominated by opponents, both in running and passing situations.
Coach Lance Leipold certainly would ride a rush of offseason momentum if he could pull off this upset, getting to three wins in his first season when Vegas predicted 1-2. Heck, that might even get him a few stray votes for Big 12 coach of the year.
KU’s current circumstances, though, seem like a hurdle that will be tough to overcome Saturday.
I’ll take West Virginia for both the win and cover.
West Virginia 42, Kansas 14
Last game prediction: TCU 48, Kansas 14 (Actual: TCU 31-28)
2021 record vs. spread: 5-6
2021 record on picks: 10-1