MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Skyler Howard threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to lead No. 14 West Virginia to a 48-21 victory over Kansas on Saturday night, sending the Jayhawks to their 40th straight road loss.
Justin Crawford ran for 129 yards and a score, and freshman Kennedy McKoy had 127 yards for the Mountaineers (7-1, 4-1 Big 12, No. 20 CFP).
The pair shared the rushing load in place of Rushel Shell, who missed the game with an ankle injury sustained a week ago.
West Virginia bounced back from a 37-20 loss at Oklahoma State by piling up 605 yards of offense against the Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6).
Howard completed 16 of 27 passes for 260 yards and helped restore the Mountaineers’ momentum heading into a tough four-week stretch that includes home games against No. 12 Oklahoma on Nov. 19 and No. 13 Baylor on Dec. 3.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it and move on to the next one,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said.
Kansas lost its 18th straight conference game and hasn’t won on the road since beating UTEP in September 2009.
“Those are some resilient dudes in there,” Kansas coach David Beaty said. “They hate losing with a passion. I’m proud of them for continuing to fight, I promise you that.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks didn’t get off to the fast start that coach David Beaty had hoped for. Kansas trailed 31-0 at halftime. The Jayhawks will have one more chance this season to break the road futility streak on Nov. 26 at Kansas State, which hasn’t lost to Kansas at home since 2007.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers kept pace with first-place Oklahoma by doing what they was expected to do against heavy-underdog Kansas — score early and often and play respectable defense. Rasul Douglas made two interceptions, but a late surge by Kansas halted the Mountaineers’ streak of four straight games of limiting opponents under 400 total yards.
Doubling up on Kansas might move the Mountaineers up a few spots in the AP poll , only because other teams ahead of them lost, including Baylor.
Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley was effective in relief of Montell Cozart, completing 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Beaty said Cozart left the game in the third quarter with concussion symptoms.
Kansas heads home to play Iowa State next Saturday. The teams are tied for last place in the Big 12.
West Virginia heads to Texas, which is coming off a 47-37 win at Texas Tech.