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WVU hosts Jayhawks with fans in attendance

Kansas to be without head coach Les Miles after positive COVID-19 test

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Kansas coach Les Miles has been cleared to return to the Jayhawks after his positive test for COVID-19, but out of caution skipped the team’s trip to West Virginia for today’s game.

The 66-year-old Miles announced last week that routine testing had returned a positive test. He experienced only mild symptoms while he was quarantining, and he was able to work remotely with the Jayhawks during their bye week.

Miles said he made the “difficult decision” after conferring with the school’s medical team, coaching staff and administration.

Tight ends coach Joshua Eargle will handle head-coaching duties against the Mountaineers, freeing offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon and defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot to focus on their sides of the ball. Eargle spent three seasons as the head coach at East Texas Baptist from 2013-15.

Four games into the college season, West Virginia will finally welcome thousands of people to a home football game.

The Mountaineers (2-1, 1-1 Big 12) are allowing up to 15,000 fans, or 25% of the stadium capacity, when they welcome the Jayhawks (0-3, 0-2).

In two previous home games, only the families of players and coaches were allowed to attend.

“I’m excited about welcoming back our fans,” said West Virginia coach Neal Brown. “We’ve missed them. We’ve missed our season ticket holders. We’ve missed our students and we’ve missed our alumni. I anticipate a great atmosphere.”

West Virginia has won six straight in the series.

OFFENSES NEED HELP

Both teams are looking to get more out of their offenses. Kansas ranks last among the 76 FBS teams that have played with 8.2 passing yards per completion. West Virginia is 59th at 10.6 yards.

Brown said he’s looking for either broken tackles on runs or more explosive pass plays. Jarret Doege threw 42 passes in a double-overtime win over Baylor but had just 211 yards.

Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker said if long passes fall incomplete, West Virginia needs to keep throwing them.

“Back from where I grew up, there’s an old adage: You can’t win the Kentucky Derby by screaming ‘whoa,'” Parker said. “We don’t want to sit there and say whoa. We want to say go, go go.”

YOUNG DEFENSE

Kansas has given significant playing time to several young players on defense. Eliot said Kansas has had missed opportunities with three dropped interceptions and three forced fumbles that weren’t recovered.

“We’re developing some depth at these positions, so hopefully we can get the play count down by each player and we can get some fresh guys out there that can play hard and play aggressive,” he said.

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