WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

PHOTO BY SEAN MCNAMARA
photo by Sean McNamara

WVU PASS OFFENSE VS K-STATE PASS DEFENSE

West Virginia had its best passing game of the season last week, with starting quarterback Austin Kendall throwing for 355 yards, but with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Mountaineers have not been great through the air this season, while Kansas State has the Big 12’s best pass defense at 194.8 yards allowed per game. Junior defensive back A.J. Parker leads the Wildcats with three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

EDGE: K-STATE

K-STATE PASS OFFENSE VS. WVU PASS DEFENSE

As good as the Wildcats have been at defending the pass, they have not fared nearly as well on the offensive side. K-State ranks last in the Big 12 at 180.7 passing yards per game, but quarterback Skylar Thompson — also a threat with his legs — did throw for 253 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions last week at Texas. The WVU pass defense was not good last week, but senior cornerback Keith Washington continues to play well for the Mountaineers.

EDGE: WVU

WVU RUN OFFENSE VS K-STATE RUN DEFENSE

The Mountaineers struggled to run the ball again in last week’s loss and have shown little improvement in that area as the season begins to wind down. True freshman running back Tony Mathis got in last week’s game and caught a touchdown pass. K-State’s run defense is only slightly better on average than the Mountaineers, but you haven’t needed to be great to stop WVU’s run this season. Sophomore defensive end Wyatt Hubert leads KSU with five sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss.

EDGE: K-STATE

WVU RUN DEFENSE VS K-STATE RUN OFFENSE

West Virginia has not been great at stopping the run so far in 2019, but defensive line play has been a bright spot. Junior lineman Darius Stills didn’t do much against Texas Tech, but remains a matchup nightmare for opposing offensive linemen. K-State averages nearly 200 rushing yards per game, but could be down two running backs. Harry Trotter has started the last two games for KSU with usual starter James Gilbert recovering from an ankle injury. No. 2 running back Jordon Brown was hurt last week too.

EDGE: K-STATE

SPECIAL TEAMS

Josh Growden is still a pretty good punter and Winston Wright’s elite speed make him a constant threat on kick return for WVU. Casey Legg could see action at placekicker for the third consecutive game with Evan Staley’s status still uncertain. K-State’s special teams, however, are pretty stacked. Joshua Youngblood is the Big 12’s leading kick returner and has a touchdown this season. Devin Anctil is the league’s leading punter and kicker Blake Lynch is 11 of 12 on field goal attempts and perfect on PATs.

EDGE: K-STATE

INTANGIBLES

There is a lot working against West Virginia in this department. First-year K-State coach Chris Klieman has the Wildcats playing much better than many thought they would this season, and Manhattan can be a difficult environment when it gets rocking. Neal Brown and the Mountaineers have a tall task on their hands this weekend, and it will be interesting to see how Brown manages the roster and playing time with “everybody” and “everyone” under evaluation.

EDGE: K-STATE

 

Quip — Is Willie the Wildcat a mascot with a human body, or a human with a mascot head?

Pick — K-State 31, WVU 17

I have followed Kerry Martin’s football career closely, so it stinks that I wasn’t in Morgantown yesterday for his first time getting thrown to the media on WVU player interview day. That is my fault for not taking care of a tooth problem and needing an emergency trip to the dentist yesterday morning. You shouldn’t suffer for my bad habits, dear reader, so here is what I can do: the fine folks with the WVU multimedia team posted a portion of the interview on their YouTube channel, which I will post below.

…and just because it popped up when I was looking for some links to use with this post, here is the video I tweeted of the Kerry Martin to Anthony Pittman (now a basketball player at West Virginia State) Hail Mary for Capital to win at Cabell Midland in 2017. Still one of the wildest football games I’ve ever watched.

photo via Twitter / @ConstantLamy20
photo via Twitter / @ConstantLamy20

Wins have been hard to come by on the field for the West Virginia University football team this season, but the Mountaineers picked up an important victory on the recruiting trail Tuesday.

Lamy Constant, a running back from Brooklyn, New York, announced his commitment to West Virginia in a post on his Twitter account — picking the Mountaineers over Louisiana State, Texas A&M and Michigan State.

Listed at an even 6-foot and 186 pounds, Constant is designated as a four-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite and is the 14th player to commit to WVU for the 2020 recruiting class. Running backs coach Chad Scott, pictured above, was the lead recruiter on Constant for the Mountaineers.

WVU 2020 recruiting class commitments:

  • Lamy Constant, RB (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Garret Greene, QB (Tallahassee, Florida)
  • Chris Mayo, OL (Hightstown, New Jersey)
  • Quay Mays, DT (NW Mississippi Community College)
  • Taurus Simmons, LB (Savannah, Georgia)
  • Zach Frazier, OL (Fairmont, West Virginia)
  • Jairo Faverus, DB (Bristol, England)
  • David Vincent-Okoli, DB (Potomac, Maryland)
  • Lanell Carr, LB (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Jacob Gamble, OL (Iowa Western Community College)
  • Reese Smith, WR (Danville, Kentucky)
  • Devell Washington, WR (Saginaw, Michigan)
  • S.L. McCall, LB (Iowa Western Community College)
  • Charles Finley, TE (Wayne, New Jersey)

 

Last week’s season-opener for the West Virginia University men’s basketball team featured the full Derek Culver experience.

Culver was good at times, and he was not so good at times. The sophomore forward from Youngstown, Ohio tied for the team-lead in points with 16, but did so on a 4 of 15 shooting performance. He was tied for the team-lead in rebounds, but he only had seven (with just two on the offensive end) — which, suffice to say, is below what Bob Huggins expects from him.

According to Culver, it could take a few games to get back to the level he was playing at to end last season, when he was named to the All-Big 12 second team and was a unanimous pick for the league’s all-freshmen team. He said he was happy with the shots he took against Akron because he was getting to his spots and taking the shots he wanted to take, they just weren’t going in.

“I had a couple of good looks that I didn’t get to capitalize on, but I feel good shooting my shots,” Culver said. “They’re the shots that I want to take, so that’s the big thing I’m happy with. I feel like last year, I took the shots they would have gave me.

“Couple more games under my belt, I’ll be fine.”

Watch video from Derek Culver’s postgame interview following West Virginia’s win against Akron below.

 

(photo by Sean McNamara)

The West Virginia University football team has a new backup quarterback.

Jarret Doege, the Bowling Green transfer who was granted immediate eligibility prior to the start of this season, will be No. 2 on the WVU depth chart this week, first-year coach Neal Brown said Thursday during his weekly radio show.

Doege was pretty good at Bowling Green, throwing for 39 touchdowns compared to 15 interceptions while completing 63 percent of his passes during a two-year tenure as the Falcons’ starting quarterback.

Brown has said several times throughout the season that the plan all along has been to redshirt Doege. The means the quarterback could appear in as many as four games for the Mountaineers and still maintain that status. Including Saturday’s game against visiting Texas Tech, the Mountaineers have four games remaining on the regular season schedule with the possibility of a bowl game appearance technically still in play.

Like Doege, redshirting has also been the plan for freshman running back Tony Mathis. Brown said to expect Mathis to get in the game this week behind starter Kennedy McKoy — who is expected to return to action after leaving last week’s game at Baylor with an injury.

INJURY UPDATE

McKoy is expected back this week, as is safety Noah Guzman.

Like McKoy, Guzman left the Baylor game with an injury and was questionable, according to Brown, earlier this week.

Starting right guard Chase Behrndt will be a game-time decision, and the same goes for sophomore Josh Chandler. The starting linebacker was hurt in the loss at Oklahoma and has not played since. Brown said if Chandler looks good in warmups, he’ll play.

Placekicker Evan Staley will not play against Texas Tech, Brown said, while receiver T.J. Simmons is still considered doubtful.