WVU Returns to Top 10 in Coaches Poll

  • By John Antonik
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  • November 06, 2016 03:10 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - After slipping to 14th in the Associated Press poll and 15th in the coaches poll last week, West Virginia has returned to the top 10 in this week’s coaches poll at No. 10 and is ranked 11th in this week’s AP poll, released earlier today.
The Mountaineers improved to 7-1 with a 48-21 victory over Kansas Saturday night at Milan Puskar Stadium. Quarterback Skyler Howard passed for 260 yards and accounted for five total touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground.
Two weeks ago, West Virginia reached No. 9 in the coaches poll and No. 10 in the AP poll before suffering a 37-20 loss at Oklahoma State, which is now 17th this week in both polls.
Oklahoma (No. 9 in both polls) and Baylor (No. 25 in both polls) are the other Big 12 teams in this week’s rankings.
The all-important College Football Rankings Poll will come out on Wednesday. Last week’s initial poll had West Virginia ranked 20th.
The Mountaineers face a key road test this Saturday at 5-4 Texas in a game that will kick off at noon and will be televised nationally on FS1.
HOWARD NOW THIRD IN CAREER PASSING: With his 260 yards passing against Kansas on Saturday, senior quarterback Skyler Howard has moved past Pat White into third place in career passing at WVU with 6,267 yards. Ahead of Howard on WVU’s career passing list are Geno Smith and Marc Bulger.
DOUBLE 100-YARD RECEIVERS: West Virginia had its first multi-100-yard receiving performance this season when Daikiel Shorts Jr. caught seven passes for 104 yards and Shelton Gibson had four catches for 102 yards. It was Gibson’s fourth 100-yard receiving performance of the season and Shorts’ third - the only two receivers to top 100 yards in a game this season.
Shorts leads the team with 46 catches for 678 yards and four touchdowns while Gibson is third in catches (31), second in yards receiving (636) and first in touchdown receptions (6).
DOUBLE 100-YARD RUSHERS: In addition to having its first multi-100-yard receiving game, WVU also produced multi-100-yard rushers for the first time this season when junior Justin Crawford ran 13 times for 129 yards and true freshman Kennedy McKoy contributed 127 yards on 18 carries.
Crawford, who has taken the team lead in rushing with 587 yards, shows three 100-yard rushing performances so far this season against Kansas (129), Kansas State (104) and Missouri (101).
Rushel Shell III, who sat out Saturday’s game with a sprained ankle suffered in last Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State, has the other two 100-yard games against TCU (117) and Texas Tech (104).
ANOTHER STRONG TURNOUT FOR KANSAS: West Virginia’s announced crowd of 56,343 on Saturday night against Kansas keeps the Mountaineers on pace to have one of its most attended seasons in years. Through five home dates this year, West Virginia is averaging 59,242 - nearly 5,000 more than last year’s average attendance of 54,826 and in line with the 60,400 the Mountaineers averaged in 2007.
Only three times in 1988 (60,497), 1989 (60,649) and 2007 (60,400) has West Virginia averaged more than 60,000 fans per game for the year.
West Virginia has two critical conference games remaining at home against ninth-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday, November 19, and against 25th-ranked Baylor on Saturday, December 3, to conclude the regular season.
Tickets can be ordered ball calling the Mountaineer Ticket Office toll-free at 1-800-WVU GAME or by logging on to WVUGAME.com.
YAKIM, DAUGHTER OF LEGENDARY VOICE OF THE MOUNTAINEERS JACK FLEMING, HAS DIED: According to local news reports, Sandy Yakim, the daughter of the late Jack Fleming died Thursday, November 3 in Morgantown. Yakim used to spot on Mountaineer Sports Network radio broadcasts for her father and she could frequently be heard cheering for West Virginia players whenever they made great plays, especially against Pitt. When Sandy and her sister Nancy were young, Jack would sign off of West Virginia broadcasts by saying good night to his two daughters.
Yakim, who taught elementary school for 36 years in Morgantown, was 67.