Saturday’s win against Texas was key for WVU, as it keeps the Mountaineers’ bowl hopes alive, and also sent off the 2021 senior class in style.
This was head coach Neal Brown’s first victory against the Longhorns, as the Mountaineers fell just shy of a victory in both 2019 and 2020.
Here’s what Brown was happy about with WVU’s performance on Saturday.
“It was clean football today,” Brown said. “The thing that was disappointing to me a week ago was that we just didn’t play clean football and Kansas State did. Today, this was a clean football game by us.”
Brown also praised the Mountaineer crowd and how their presence affected the outcome of the game. Here’s what Brown had to say.
“I want to thank the fans. People used their tickets,” Brown said. “The fans were a factor in the game and that matters. I can’t emphasize that enough. The atmosphere matters. When they show up and they’re loud and they’re into the game, it’s a factor.”
Leddie Brown, WVU’s star senior running back, was a big piece in the victory. Brown ran for 158 yards with a touchdown in what could’ve possibly been his last game at Mountaineer Field. Brown was asked about his persistency in the run game on Saturday.
“Not every run is going to be a home run,” Brown said. “It’s going to be a tough two yards, tough three yards. Then I might break like five yards, 10, 15, touchdown.”
Brown was also asked if there was any relief heading into Thanksgiving because of the recent win. Here’s what the senior had to say.
“Not really. We know we still got one more game left, so we can’t take our foot off the pedal yet,” Brown said.
Another bright spot on the offense on Saturday was quarterback Jarret Doege. Doege threw for 290 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the bounce-back win. Doege was asked about the offense’s ability to convert on third and long and fourth and long scenarios throughout the ballgame.
“I would just say, it’s just a team effort. Protection was good, receivers made plays, and I threw the ball well,” Doege said. “When that happens, we can convert those third and longs and fourth downs.”
Doege was also asked about how important it was to keep the run game going throughout the game. Here’s what Doege had to say.
“It’s very important because I think when we win these types of games and when I have good games on the stat sheet (throwing the ball well), it’s all because of the run game,” Doege said. “It makes it so much easier when we have a good run game.”
On the defensive side, senior linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo led the team in total tackles with 12 and four solo tackles. Chandler-Semedo has already announced that he will not be returning for his extra year of eligibility, so this was his last time playing in front of the Mountaineer faithful. Here’s what Chandler-Semedo had to say about running out one last time.
“I’m not usually somebody that smiles a lot, but I couldn’t keep a smile off my face.”
Chandler-Semedo was asked to speak on the defensive effort despite being beat up with injuries.
“We had a good game plan and we really just put guys out there that who wanted to make a play,” Chandler-Semedo said.” “We put out unselfish guys who work hard, who run to the ball, who really just want to give it all for this defense.”
Sixth-year senior safety Sean Mahone was another key part of the defensive effort for the Mountaineers on Saturday, contributing with six total tackles and a huge interception late in the fourth quarter. Mahone walked the media through the play when he intercepted Texas quarterback Casey Thompson, almost sealing the game for West Virginia.
“I knew they were trying to probably go for the first down, not take a shot, and I was just reading the quarterback in my zone,” Mahone said. “I saw his eyes and he threw the ball towards the middle and I broke on the ball, so I was able to take it. “I was mad I couldn’t score, but at least I held on to the ball.”
Photo by Bryan Dougherty, Blue Gold Sports