Despite a fast start and an early lead, Kansas fell to West Virginia 38-17 Saturday afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium. With the loss, KU fell to 0-4 overall, 0-3 in the Big 12 Conference. WVU improved to 3-1, 2-1 on the season.
Coming off a bye, the Jayhawks came ready to play against the Mountaineers. For the second consecutive road game, Kansas scored on its opening possession when redshirt freshman Jacob Borcila connected on a 41-yard field goal with 11:41 on the clock to give KU an early 3-0 lead.
On the offense’s next series, junior quarterback Miles Kendrick connected on a 43-yard pass to senior wide receiver Andrew Parchment in the end zone for a touchdown. Borcila made the PAT to put the Jayhawks ahead 10-0 with 9:31 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Mountaineers responded with two-straight touchdowns to take a 14-10 lead with just more than three minutes remaining in the first half. West Virginia intercepted a Kendrick pass and had enough time to tack on a field goal before halftime. At the intermission, WVU led KU by a score of 17-10.
West Virginia eventually extended its lead to 38-10 in the fourth quarter.
With 1:45 remaining, however, Pooka Williams Jr., took a WVU kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first kick return for a touchdown by a Jayhawk since 2016 when Laquvionte Gonzalez had a 99-yard touchdown return against Ohio.
Kendrick, making his first career start at Kansas, completed 14-of-23 pass attempts for 95 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions on the afternoon. Williams and Velton Gardner totaled 64 rushing yards for the Jayhawks.
Senior wide receiver Andrew Parchment was the top receiver for Kansas on the afternoon, catching six passes for 65 yards. His long reception of the day, a 43-yard strike from Kendrick, resulted in Parchment’s second touchdown of the season. Parchment now has 11 catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns in two career games against West Virginia.
On the other side of the ball, the defense had an active day for the Jayhawks.
The Kansas defense finished with 10 pass breakups, nine tackles-for-loss and its first two turnovers of the season. The 10 pass breakups are the most by a Kansas team since 2014 when the Jayhawks had 14 against Iowa State. The nine TFLs are also a season high.
Linebacker Denzel Feaster forced a fumble that freshman defensive back Duece Mayberry recovered for the first turnover of the season for Kansas. Later in the game, Malcolm Lee collected his first interception of his career to get the Jayhawks another turnover.
Junior safety Davon Ferguson led the team with nine tackles. Dru Prox and Kenny Logan Jr., each had eight.
Kansas continues its two-game road swing next Saturday (Oct. 24) in Manhattan against Kansas State in the annual Dillons Sunflower showdown. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. (CT) from Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will be broadcast live on FS1.