This is Only the Beginning

West Virginia finishing 5-7 overall and 3-6 in Neal Brown’s first season as the Head Coach of the Mountaineers was to be expected.  Even the most optimistic of West Virginians couldn’t have imagined a much better season back in August.

While there were many moments of frustration along the way, there were also many times that West Virginia exceeded expectations and made our state proud.  Upset wins on the road at Kansas State and TCU showed what the Mountaineers are capable of in the future.

Jarret Doege, West Virginia’s undisputed starting quarterback next season, will be surrounded with returning weapons.  Sam James, Bryce Wheaton, Winston Wright, Isaiah Esdale, as well as veterans T.J. Simmons and potentially Doege’s roommate George Campbell – who will apply for a 6th season – will be be back and better than ever, with game experience playing alongside Doege.

Although the running game has struggled, finishing the season as the 129th ranked team out of 130 teams nationally in run yards per game, Leddie Brown, the Sophomore running back from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, looks like a legit star in the making for the Mountaineers.  Redshirt Senior Martell Pettaway, who had 623 rushing yards in 2018, will also return for one more season and he has shown that he is very capable of being effective.  In addition to Brown and Pettaway, the Mountaineers return Alec Sinkfield and gain four star recruit Lamy Constant, one of the best high school running backs in the nation.

While the Mountaineers finished 74th overall in the nation in yards allowed per game (399.3), this was a defense decimated by players lost to the transfer portal and injuries.  It’s impossible to deny the obvious potential and talent that the young West Virginia defenders showed, particularly late in the season.  The West Virginia defense was very good in 2019, but they will be great next season.

Neal Brown has a group of players that want to work hard and they want to win football games for the state of West Virginia and its people.  This will be a vastly improved team on both sides of the football and it is a team that will continue to make West Virginia proud.