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Mountaineers top Eastern Kentucky Colonels in season opener

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Leddie Brown and Alec Sinkfield showed that the Mountaineers run game is back, Jarrett Doege threw for 228 yards and three touchdown passes and West Virginia beat Eastern Kentucky 56-10 Saturday.  

The pair of backs both ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns apiece. A massive improvement from just a year ago when the Mountaineers didn’t have a single player reach the 100-yard mark. It was the first time since 2017 West Virginia had two players rush for two touchdowns in a game.  

“I’m taking everything personal this season,” running back Leddie Brown said. “Because last season nobody had faith in us.” 

(Leddie) Brown put on a clinic for the Mountaineers. Aside from having three total touchdowns, he was the first West Virginia player since Jock Sanders to have two rushing touchdowns and one passing.  

“I felt like Leddie, over the last two weeks, has improved because once we started practicing in a physical nature, he has really risen his game,” West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said. “To see him get off on a quick start and go for 100 plus today, I was happy for him, and it was well-deserved.” 

West Virginia overcame the early obstacles of having suspended 11 players for one game and due to the pandemic, they allowed only immediate family to attend the game. That didn’t have any impact on the Mountaineers performance.  

On the opening drive the Mountaineers marched down the field in just four plays to score the game’s first touchdown. Including a 38-yard rush by Leddie Brown on the first play of the game, which was the longest rush West Virginia has had since 2018.  

It was also the first time since 2016 since the West Virginia offense has gained over 300 yards rushing. 

“Offensively, we had a fast start,” Brown said. “We won the coin toss and took the ball. I don’t know if that’s something that we made a habit of last year, but we felt like getting off to a fast start was important.” 

Eastern Kentucky had trouble containing the Mountaineers from the opening kickoff. They allowed over 600 total yards for the second straight game but were able to collect 206 total yards, which was an improvement of just 166 against Marshall.  

“I thought we came out with a different energy than we had last week,” Eastern Kentucky head coach Walt Wells said. “We came out and tried to compete early on. Against a good team, you can’t make the mistakes we made. 

Jarrett Doege hooked up with Sam James for a 32-yard touchdown for his longest play of the day. Picking back up where he left off last year. Since taking over the starting position last year, Doege is now 3-1 with the Mountaineers.  

Doege looked like he didn’t miss a beat and helped some young receivers show off their hands.  

“Those are guys that had a really good camp,” Doege said of the young receivers. “Those are guys I’ll continue to go to all season.” 

West Virginia took a commanding 42-7 lead at halftime against the Colonels and never looked back.  

Backup quarterback Austin Kendall, and freshman quarterback, Garrett Greene, both got to see some time under center for the Mountaineers as well.  

Colonels quarterback, Parker McKinney, completed nine of his 17 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown and an interception.  

“I think Parker did a good job of managing the game and stepping up and making some plays.” Wells said.  

West Virginia will be back in action against Oklahoma State on Sept. 26.  

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