The West Virginia Mountaineers ended non-conference play at 2-1. It was a strange journey to get there: they struggled with JMU, got blown-out by the Missouri Tigers and then they bounced back with a strong win over the N.C. State Wolfpack. Just exactly what they achieved against the Wolfpack is quite amazing.
21: The amount of first half points the Mountaineers scored. To this point, this was their season high after they scored only 20 against JMU and a lowly 7 against Missouri. Three touchdown drives all covered at least 75 yards.
3: The number of touchdown catches Florida State Seminole transfer George Campbell has through three games. He has caught a touchdown in each game. Campbell’s touchdown against the Wolfpack came at a time when the Mountaineers appeared to be losing momentum. His touchdown tied the game and swung the ‘mo’ back to the good guys.
5: The number of explosive (runs over 10 yards) runs. In the first two games, the Mountaineers had zero explosive runs. The Mountaineers had a 24 yard run on the game’s second play when the offense tried a double pass but the Wolfpack defense’d it so well that wide receiver Sean Ryan took off and ran when his passing option was covered. Quarterback Austin Kendall threw a block that helped to spring Ryan. Kennedy McKoy had two runs, one for a touchdown, Leddie Brown had a 15 yard run and Austin Kendall had a 25 yard run.
79: The Mountaineers rush yards per game. Despite a 173 yard performance against NCSt, the Mountaineers are still 123rd in rush yards per game at 79.
27:31: For the third time this season, the Mountaineers have lost the time battle, but for the second time this season they’ve won games while holding the ball less than their opponent. In the NCSt game, the Mountaineers used an up-tempo attack to catch the Wolfpack off-balance. The Mountaineers three scoring drives in the first half took only: 2:08, 0:55, and 2:39 while covering 18 plays total.
29%: Vic Koenning’s defense, which has not allowed a touchdown in the second half this season, held the Wolfpack to 5-of-17 on third down attempts and 7-of-22 on change of possession downs (3rd & 4th downs).
2nd: The Mountaineers rank 2nd in the nation in pass breakups. Against Matthew McKay, the secondary broke up 8 passes and have knocked down 17 passes in three games.
71.9: Austin Kendall’s QBR in the NCSt game. If you thought Kendall looked more comfortable with the offense, you weren’t alone. He made better reads and better throws. ESPN’s metric evaluates all aspects of the quarterbacks game and ranks it on a scale of 0-100. The 71.9 score by Kendall represents his best score of the year and is greater than the combined score against Missouri and JMU. Austin still sails too many throws but if he can play like he did against NC State, the Mountaineers are in good hands.