3 Up, 3 Down After a Nail-Biter against JMU

Well, college football is certainly back, and I don't think any of us could be any more excited (unless maybe we were Clemson or Bama fans, but that's neither here nor there). The Neal Brown Era is officially underway, and he walked out of Milan Puskar Stadium victorious in his debut in the Old Gold and Blue. I did this article a couple times last season, and would like to make it a weekly thing this year now that I've got a little more time. So, with that said, let's take a look at who's up, and who's down, after the first win of the 2019 season.


The Stills Bros.

There is no question that things got rolling in a big way once Dante and Darius started settling in up front for the Mountaineer defense This past Saturday. JMU more or less had their way with the West Virginia defensive front in the first half, chewing up both yards and clock, and took a 7-3 lead to halftime. That all changed once the Brothers Stills started wreaking havoc. This should bode well for us going forward.

Tevin Bush

Tevin Bush, longtime fan-favorite for his diminutive size and ridiculous speed, busted things open in more than one way for the Mountaineers against James Madison. Fresh out of halftime, needing something to get us going, Bush took the opening pass 41 yards across the middle and up the sideline into Dukes territory, setting up the first of 3 second-half scoring drives (and not the only one he would be instrumental in). Then in the 4th quarter, right after an interception by Keith Washington, Austin Kendall found a wide open Tevin Bush, who was having a tea party all by himself in the back of the end-zone, for what would be the game-winning touchdown.

Neal Brown

What else can really be said? Yes, the play-calling was weird. Yes, the game was closer than we wanted. Yes, the team looked sluggish. But, after months of waiting, Neal Brown has finally etched his name in the win column as the Head Football Coach at West Virginia University.


Kelby Wickline

I will try to make this short and sweet. Kelby has caught some flack since Saturday, and rightfully so, for his woeful showing in the run-blocking department. Add on the pair of false starts, and you have what amounts to a less-than-ideal day for Mr. Wickline. He's going to have to step his game up if we plan to do anything this year.

Kennedy McKoy

Okay, so this is becoming a yearly thing with this guy. I think everyone probably knows how high I am on Kennedy, and I think everyone should know that when this dude is on his game, the offense must flow through him. However, it just continues to seem like McKoy takes a couple games into the season to really get rolling. Last year, he seemed to be in Holgorsen's doghouse to start the year, and got very limited touches against Tennessee in the opener, despite having a TD reception. This year, we heard very little about him in spring or summer, up until the first couple weeks of school when Brown mentioned he should be poised for a big year. And, I get it, the blocking was awful. But that didn't keep Pettaway from at least finding small spaces and leaning forward for a couple yards. Kennedy has to be who we need him to be, and quickly.

Exree Loe

This may be a bit harsh, but Loe got blown up, and was basically caught ball-watching on the lone touchdown James Madison had, as Vanhorse walked in, literally, untouched. He had limited snaps on the day, but that was a really big one. You can't just sit on your heels in the redzone and wait for the play to come to you. Meet the guy in the hole and make a play. I suspect he will get better at this once he gets more reps under his belt.

So that's it for my top and bottom contributors in the Week 1 Win over James Madison. Tune in next week for who's up, and who's down, after our game with Missouri.