Les Miles looks to return Jayhawks to winning ways
Editor’s note: The following is the fourth in a series of previews of West Virginia’s football opponents for the 2019 season.
Les Miles will be roaming the Kansas sidelines when West Virginia begins Big 12 Conference play on Sept. 21.
Miles previously served as head coach at LSU, winning the national title in 2007. He replaces David Beaty, who went 6-42 during his four seasons as the Jayhawk mentor.
Miles is familiar with the Big 12, serving as head coach at Oklahoma State from 2001-2004. He faces the task of turning around a Kansas program that won just two Big 12 games during Beaty’s tenure.
“I think we have a better talent base here at Kansas than I had when I was with Oklahoma State,” Miles said during this week’s Big 12 Conference media days. “I think we will recruit well, over time, and I think you will see that this Kansas team is much more talented than their record shows.”
Running back Pooka Williams is back after being named the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2018. Williams was arrested during the offseason and was suspended for the opener against Indiana State. He rushed for 1,125 yards last season.
Junior college transfer Thomas MacVittie is expected to step in at quarterback. The 6-foot-5 MacVittie was a former Pitt recruit and was ranked as one of the top junior college quarterbacks.
Daylor Charlot had just 12 catches for the Jayhawks in 2018 after transfering from Alabama. He had a strong spring season, however, and is expected to lead the receiving corps.
Stephon Robinson had 28 catches for 330 yards in his first season with the team.
The offensive line will be experienced and with depth as eight of last year’s top players return along the front.
Defensively, Kansas must replace its entire front, along with All-Big 12 linebacker Joe Dineen Jr.
The secondary should be solid as Mike Lee, Bryce Torneden, Hasan Defense and Corione Harris all return.
Harris had 44 tackles and an interception as a true freshman, while Defense led the team with three picks.