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West Virginia runs their way into a Bowl Game

When taking a glance at where the West Virginia football team got much of their offensive production in 2021, it’s hard to ignore the ground game that senior Leddie Brown and redshirt sophomore Tony Mathis patrolled. So if you want to bet on them, you can quickly do so on sites such as 12Bet.

The Mountaineers rushed for a total of 1,914 yards on the season as a part of their entire offensive attack of 4,597 yards. That puts West Virginia right at the 41-percent mark for rushing opposed to passing, but most of the success and winning in the season can be pointed at the ground game. If you want to bet on them or any other team, you can trust sites such as dadu online.

There was a pretty simple theme when it came to head coach Neal Brown’s team in 2021 and that was winning games meant rushing the ball for 100 yards or more. In all six games the Mountaineers came away with a victory this year, the team found a way to rush for at least 100 yards.

And when they didn’t win, they rushed for less than 100 yards per game.

The most extremes of those numbers can be seen when West Virginia rushed for 17 yards in their banged-up loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 6, 24-3. Then, later in the month of November on Nov. 27 at Kansas the team rushed for 261 yards in their 34-28 victory.

It’s pretty amazing it worked out that way for West Virginia on the season in the backfield, but it makes sense when Brown is the lead running back of your team. The rusher is viewed as a future NFL Draft selection and will most likely be so when the picks come in next April in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brown finished his regular season campaign this year rushing for a combined 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns while appearing in all 12 games. The senior’s 1,000-yard rushing season is the second straight season the running back has completed the feat after also rushing for north of 1,000 yards his junior campaign also.

The senior’s best game of the season came in September when the Mountaineers hosted longtime rival Virginia Tech in Milan Puskar Stadium to claim the Black Diamond Trophy. Brown went for 161 yards on the day on 19 carries while beginning the day with a bang on an 80-yard rushing touchdown.

Another Mountaineer victory that saw Brown rush for north of 100 yards was against Texas in the final home game of the season when the tailback gained a total of 158 yards on 33 rushes for a touchdown.

While Brown led the rushing charge, he was helping out a younger player learn the ropes and the basics of rushing in a tough Big 12 conference all season. The mentee was Mathis, who will more than likely be looked at as the lead running back if Brown departs Morgantown in the spring time.

Mathis rushed in 10 games this season, while going for a total of 256 yards and ripping off his longest rush of the year on a 45-yard rushing play. Through the 10 games Mathis rushed in this season, he averaged around 25.6 yards per game.

West Virginia will wait to find out who they will play in their 2021 bowl game but one thing is for sure — if they would like to beat whoever they will play, they’ll want to rush the ball for more than 100 yards.

Photo by Bryan Dougherty, Blue Gold Sports

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