A Little Know-Howe: Nehlen Talks Coaching Return

By Brad Howe on September 23, 2017 from A Little Know-Howe via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Don Nehlen would like to coach again? 
 
That's what WVU's all-time winningest football coach told us earlier this week on the Citynet Statewide Sportsline. It was said in jest, but given how passionate he was when describing how he would attack spread offenses as a defensive coordinator, I won't be the one to say he couldn't do it.
 
We get to talk with Coach Nehlen every Monday during the football season and it's truly my favorite part of the week. His knowledge of the game and its current events continue to amaze me. He's a state treasure for sure. 
 
In case you missed it, CLICK HERE for the full interview with Coach Nehlen from Monday's Sportsline.
 
Now on to today's action.
 
WVU at Kansas 
 
West Virginia's 'preseason' comes to an end today with the game at Kansas. The Jayhawks enter the game having lost two straight to MAC teams. Not exactly the kind of start third year head coach David Beatty envisioned. 
 
After an offseason of optimism, it appears KU is the same old KU on the gridiron.  In losses to Central Michigan and Ohio University, Kansas has given up an average of 43.5 points per game and 360 yards passing per game.
 
It's actually been on the ground that WVU has seen success the last two season against KU, averaging 392 yards rushing (and 48.5 points per game) against the Jayhawks.  West Virginia should have the option to throw it or run it with equal success today.
 
Will Grier enters today's game having thrown for more yards downfield than any quarterback in the country, according to Pro Football Focus.  His 544 yards passing on targets of 20 yards or more are 140 yards ahead of Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State.
 
Big play threat, Marcus Simms has been the beneficiary of some of those throws over the last two games. Simms has three receiving touchdowns on just five catches. Two of the three touchdowns have been on plays covering 50 yards or more.
 
Although he had a "down" week statistically against Delaware State, David Sills is still second nationally in touchdown receptions.
 
Justin Crawford is off to a great start even though it doesn't feel as if he's carried the ball that much. Three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances have leading the Big 12 in rushing. 
 
The point of all these numbers: today is another name your score kind of game for WVU. 
 
Vegas has installed West Virginia as a three touchdown favorite, the third straight game when it has been favored by at least 21 points Following this game, WVU has an open week and then things get real. 
 
TCU is up next on October 7. The Horned Frogs are said to be much improved from a year ago and own a win over Arkansas already this season. 
 
The first three games in the series with TCU were close. From 2012-2014, the three games were decided by a TOTAL of five points. The last two games have seen TCU win by 30 (2015) and WVU win by 24 (2016).
 
I've got to think the 2017 version of the WVU-TCU game will look more like the first three games than the last two.
 
So, enjoy what is sure to be a win in Lawrence today, get some things done around the house next weekend and then gear up for some tougher opponents in October. 
 
What's your score prediction for today's game?
 
Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @BradHowe07. 
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Don Nehlen during the late 1980s with Major Harris (photo courtesy of WVU Sports Communications). Middle photo shows Marcus Simms, left, and Ka'Raun White celebrating after a recent touchdown. Bottom photo shows Justin Crawford breaking off a big gain against Delaware State. Bottom two photos by Ben Queen of www.benqueenphotography.com.


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