If you listen to the Voice of Motown podcast, which I co-host with my good friend Tyler, you’ll know we end every episode with each of us highlighting one good and one bad thing from the previous week and one wish for WVU going into the next week. In this series, I’ll outline more in-depth my good and bad, and add in an ugly, just to fill out the cliché.
The Mountaineer rushing attack was fierce against the Jayhawks on Saturday, running with elite power and determination all game long. Leddie Brown finished with 19 carries for 156 yards including a beautiful 44-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter to give WVU a 28-21 lead. It wasn’t only Brown on Sunday slashing up the Kansas defense. Redshirt Sophomore Tony Mathis Jr. chipped in an additional 118 yards on 22 carries and added a 45-yard run of his own. Both Leddie and Tony were tough to bring down, breaking multiple tackles and getting to the 2nd level early and often. Mathis’s performance was doubly important as it may provide a preview of what WVU fans may see more of next season and in the upcoming bowl game.
The special teams unit had one of their worst performances of the year. The normally automatic Casey Legg missed a 44-yard field goal late in the 2nd quarter. The return defenses had two gaffes as well. Tyler Sumpter had a short 37 yard punt that led to a 21 yard return by Kwamie Lassiter into Mountaineer territory early in the 3rd quarter. This thankfully didn’t come back to haunt WVU as the defense was able to hold Kansas to a 4 and out. However, the second mistake gave Kansas an opportunity to get back in the game late in the 4th quarter. The kickoff unit left a lane for Kenny Logan Jr. to return the ball 63 yards, giving Kansas tremendous field position while they were down by two scores. The Kansas offense was able to use this spark to drive down inside the Mountaineer 20 before Josh Chandler-Semedo picked off Jalon Daniels to end the Jayhawk threat.
Jarret Doege didn’t have a bad game. He completed 76% of his passes and threw for 3 touchdowns. At the end of the first half, he was 14/17 for 162 yards and 3 TDs. It seems like Doege could have another Big 12 Player of the Week-eque performance. However, things went downhill in the 2nd half. His first pass was a bad read on third down. Doege telegraphed a pass to the flats to Tony Mathis that ended up tipped at the line. His next pass was another bad read, but this time he wasn’t so lucky. Kansas linebacker, Gavin Potter, intercepted the attempted slant and took it back for a touchdown, which, after a 2 point conversion, tied things up. Two of Doege’s next three passes were bad as well. First, a late throw to Isaiah Esdale on a stop route that Esdale was able to haul in despite taking a shot to the back. Then, a dump off to Tony Mathis Jr. on a 3rd and 6 when he had Esdale open at the sticks. After these errors, Neal Brown took the keys away from Doege; he did not throw another pass in the game, which spanned the entire 4th quarter. This is despite WVU facing 5 3rd downs in the 4th quarter, all from 5 yard or more from the first down marker. It was a telling sign from the coaching staff that they did not trust Doege to protect the lead, and ultimately, makes the question of whether Doege should be the starting quarterback in 2022 even more murky.
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