Kansas keeps No. 9 WVU in check, falls 38-22

Sep 01, 2018; Lawrence, KS, USA;

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (KU) - Kansas' defense kept No. 9/8 West Virginia's offense at bay for three of four quarters on Saturday afternoon, but 10 points in the final period sealed the 38-22 victory for the Mountaineers inside Milan Puskar Stadium.

On the defensive side, the Jayhawks slowed one of the top offenses in the country with three interceptions in the end zone in the first half. Prior to today's game, WVU scored each trip into the red zone (15-for-15), but the Jayhawks forced three turnovers in the red zone. KU's strong defensive efforts in the first 30 minutes kept Kansas within two possessions of the Mountaineers.

While KU's defensive corps stopped West Virginia numerous times in the opening half, it was also the Jayhawks' defense that ignited the first scoring drive of the game. An interception by junior Hasan Defense set up for senior quarterback Peyton Bender to complete an 18-yard scoring pass to senior tight end Mavin Saunders.

On the first drive of the second half, Kansas' offense marched the ball 75 yards down the field on seven plays to score its second touchdown of the day, pulling KU within one possession of the Mountaineers.

While Kansas forced four turnovers for the third time this season, it was a turnover on special teams late in the fourth quarter that proved to be costly for the Jayhawks, keeping the momentum in West Virginia's favor. Despite being down by three possessions late in the game, the Jayhawks didn't quit and ended the game with a touchdown followed by a two-point conversion, but fell to West Virginia, 38-22.

NOTABLES // Complete Postgame Notes
Junior cornerback Hasan Defense grabbed his first interception of the season and the third of his career in the first quarter. He ended the day with two interceptions, the first Jayhawk to record a pair of interceptions since Brandon Stewart grabbed a pair of interceptions against TCU in 2016.
Kansas forced four turnovers against West Virginia, marking the third game this season with four or more turnovers in 2018.
Senior Mavin Saunders scored his first career touchdown, putting Kansas on the scoreboard, with a career-long reception of 18 yards. His touchdown reception is the first to a tight end this season.
Senior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. recorded seven receiving yards, moving to the third all-time in Kansas history with a total of 2,271 career receiving yards. He surpassed Willie Vaughn's (1985-88) career record of 2,266 yards.
KEY PLAYS
Senior quarterback Peyton Bender completed an 18-yard pass to senior tight end Mavin Saunders for the first Kansas touchdown of the game. Saunders 18-yard touchdown reception is the first to a tight end this year.
In the third quarter, junior running back Khalil Herbert ran for a 31-yard touchdown rush, scoring the Jayhawks' second touchdown of the day.
Bender connected with junior wide receiver Daylon Charlot for an 18-yard reception, the first of Charlot's career. Following the touchdown, Bender found sophomore wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II in the end zone to complete the two-point conversion.
UP NEXT
Following a bye week, Kansas will stay on the road for a game at Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 20. A game time for the matchup between the Jayhawks and Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium has not been set yet.