BGN Players of the Game: Kansas

Charles Sims and Nick Kwiatkoski were named Players of the Game for their performances in West Virginia's 31-19 loss at Kansas.

Sims and Kwaitkoski have won the fan vote-based awards the most times of any players on offense and defense, respectively. Sims again paced a sputtering, mistake-prone offense, rushing for 104 yards on 16 carries despite not getting enough touches after WVU's successful first drive. The senior back also had one rushing touchdown and
Offensive Player of the Game
Charles Sims
104 rush yds/2 total TD/29 rec yds
caught two passes for 29 yards and a score. West Virginia finished with 386 yards, including 144 on the ground on 32 attempts, a solid 4.5 yards per carry. But the Mountaineers never truly attempted to reestablish its running game after the first series, and its turnovers, penalties and basic execution miscues led to the worst loss of the last decade.

Kwiatkoski amassed eight tackles, 1.5 for loss, and added a fumble recovery as the sophomore continued to make significant plays from his sam position. The 6-2, 232-pounder has perhaps the most promising combination of youth and big-play ability on a defense that has too often collapsed at strangely varying times throughout games. Kwiatkoski has the proverbial nose for the football, and is continually around the ball, giving himself excellent opportunities to make plays.
Defensive Player of the Game
Nick Kwiatkoski
Eight tackles, 1.5 TFL/1 fumble rec.
WVU, now just 4-7 and losers of five of six, allowed 376 yards, 315 rushing, against a team that ranks just 76th in the NCAA in rush yards. Kansas, losers of 27 straight Big 12 games before the win, are 117th in passing ,meaning the Mountaineers should have been able to focus on the run game and give iself advantages in numbers and scheme. That potential edge was overcome by a lack of effort and enthusiasm, however, essentially signaling the end of a season in which West Virginia will not make a bowl for the first time in a dozen years.

Receiver Mario Alford and freshman running back Wendell Smallwood were also nominated. Alford had three catches for 76 yards, while Smallwood managed 33 yards on seven carries and two receptions for 42 yards. Neither scored. Defensively, end Will Clarke and safety Jarrod Harper were finalists. Clarke had a team-best 10 tackles, including two for loss, but allowed a wrapped up James Sims to escape for one KU score. Harper tallied five tackles and a forced fumble.

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