Kansas football is looking for its first win of the pandemic-altered 2020 season against the West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday.
The Jayhawks are fresh off their bye week and have been prepping for this game without Kansas football coach Les Miles, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Miles and Kansas Athletics announced Friday Miles will not be traveling with the team to Morgantown. Kansas football tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Joshua Eargle will serve as acting head coach.
“As we continue to work our way through this pandemic, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff that make up this great team,” Miles said. “As the head coach, it is up to me to set the right example for our student-athletes, and that is what I am doing with this decision by not traveling with the team.”
Saturday's game at Milan Puskar Stadium will mark the first game this season West Virginia has played with fans in the stands. Roughly 15,000 fans will be in attendance.
This game also marks the first time this season Kansas has listed a starting quarterback ahead of game time, with junior Miles Kendrick getting the start under center Saturday. Kendrick is 26-for-43 for 246 yards and two touchdowns so far this season, and also can extend plays with his running ability.
In last season’s matchup, then-junior wide receiver Andrew Parchment had five receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Then-junior wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II added three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Parchment, now a senior, has 11 catches for 75 yards and only one touchdown so far this season. Lassiter in his senior year also has one touchdown, along with 15 catches for 171 yards.
The Kansas defense needs to be on the lookout for West Virginia junior running back Leddie Brown who is ranked 21st in the nation in total rushing yards, averaging 107 yards per game. Brown has a total of 320 rushing yards and four touchdowns so far this season, including two touchdowns against Baylor on Oct. 3.
West Virginia redshirt quarterback Jarret Doege has a 66.3% completion rate so far this year, and ranks 10th nationally in completions per game with 23. Doege also ranks 26th nationally in passing yards per game with 241.3.
The Kansas defense will be fortunate to have veteran starters like senior cornerback Kyle Mayberry and senior safety Ricky Thomas back in game play to combat the strong West Virginia offense.
The match up Saturday will mark the 10th meeting between the two teams, with West Virginia leading the series 8-1. West Virginia has won all five meetings in Morgantown.
Saturday’s game will kick off at 11 a.m. and is being televised nationally on FOX due to the Oklahoma State vs. Baylor game being postponed.