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Tykee Smith leading West Virginia defense in sophomore season

Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Tykee Smith driving Mountaineer defense during sophomore campaign

The West Virginia defense has had many players step up and make superstar plays throughout the year. One player that has received recognition during the 2020 season is sophomore spear linebacker Tykee Smith. As a freshman, Smith earned Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American honors. Smith was tremendous last year for the Mountaineers, but now, he has gotten even better. In eight games, Smith has 28 total tackles, 27 assisted tackles, eight tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Notebook: WVU’s run game vastly improved, but not at ‘championship level’ yet

It took Leddie Brown just eight games to surpass West Virginia’s entire rushing total as a team in twelve games last season. With a 156-yard effort against TCU Saturday, Brown upped his season total to 897 yards. WVU rushed for just 879 yards in 2019. While the progress rushing the football is clear, head coach Neal Brown says more work must be done.

WVU’s Young and Improving Offensive Line Bodes Well For Future

For the first time in a long time, there could finally be some light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel when it comes to West Virginia’s offensive line depth. This season WVU has been making many runs to the left side of the offensive line, where true freshman Zach Frazier plays left guard and redshirt freshman Brandon Yates plays left tackle.

Tony Fields II receives invite to 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl

West Virginia linebacker Tony Fields II has earned a spot in the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. The graduate transfer has separated himself among Big 12 defenders, leading the conference with 79 total tackles. That also makes him the leading tackler on the top defense in the conference.

Josh Chandler-Semedo’s availability still up in the air for Oklahoma game

Question marks still surround the status of West Virginia linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo after he missed WVU’s victory over TCU on Saturday. The junior did not suit up for the contest after he was spotted during warmups in street clothes and a knee brace.

Basketball

Deep and talented men’s basketball team gets set to start season

As November begins to wind down and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, basketball season is finally ready to return after an extra-long offseason due to COVID-19. After last season’s success, the West Virginia men’s basketball team just wanted an opportunity to play. This may be one of the deepest teams that head coach Bob Huggins has assembled since taking over in 2007, as each position on the floor has at least two players that could receive significant playing time.

Carey, Mountaineers preparing for 2020 with deep roster

Last season, the West Virginia women’s basketball team was fighting hard for a spot in the NCAA Tournament by way of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, but that opportunity never presented itself. In a year that was marked by initial success followed by heavy struggles on the back half of its schedule, WVU was left without an official conclusion to the season following the cancellation of postseason play for the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19.

West Virginia Athletics

Big 12 announces awards for women’s soccer season

The West Virginia women’s soccer team had personal honors awarded to several players after a successful season. Jordan Brewster, the backbone of the defense and a captain, was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Brewster started every match at center back and helped WVU concede just eight goals in a nine-game season. Additionally, Brewster joined teammates Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel and Alina Stahl on the All-Big 12 First Team.

No. 14 WVU Caps Fall Slate at Oklahoma

The #14 West Virginia volleyball team caps its 2020 fall slate with a two-match series at Oklahoma tonight and tomorrow night. Last week, WVU dropped a pair of matches to #1 Texas at the WVU Coliseum, but the Mountaineers fell only one spot in the national rankings as a result.

Mountaineers in the Pros: Week 10

In Week 10 of the 2020 NFL Season, 10 former Mountaineers saw action. Nick Kwiatkoski made a one-handed interception in the Las Vegas Raiders win over the Denver Broncos. He also recorded eight tackles, with six being solo stops, and had two pass deflections. Kyzir White also started at linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers and recorded six tackles, with three being solo stops.

Around the Big 12

TCU Headlines 2020 Big 12 Soccer Awards

TCU headlined the 2020 Big 12 Conference soccer awards with four honorees. Grace Collins was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, while Emily Alvarado was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Defender Marz Akins won Freshman of the Year, while Eric Bell was the Coach of the Year. West Virginia’s Jordan Brewster joined the Horned Frogs on the awards list, as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Texas at Kansas Football Game Postponed

In accordance with Big 12 Conference football game interruption guidelines, the Texas at Kansas game scheduled for November 21st has been postponed. The game will be rescheduled on December 12th. The time and television designation will be announced when available.

Five Earn Spot on Preseason Wade Watch List

Five Big 12 student-athletes were named to the 2020-21 Wade Trophy Watch List. Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith, Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, K-State’s Ayoka Lee, Texas’ Charli Collier, and Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray were listed as preseason candidates.

Around the NCAA

2020-21 men’s college basketball preview: Preseason picks, rankings, complete coverage

The 2020-21 college basketball season is scheduled to begin November 25th. As the countdown continues, it is time to make sure you are prepared with breakdowns of the national picture, all the highest-profile leagues, and the top stars from coast to coast.

College football recruiting: Biggest needs for each top-25 class

To get a better picture of where some teams stand, here is an outline of some of the biggest questions, biggest needs, and biggest targets for every college football team ranked in the top 25 of the recruiting class rankings.

Minnesota Timberwolves take Georgia’s Anthony Edwards with No. 1 pick in NBA draft

Five months later than it was originally scheduled, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards with the first pick of the 2020 NBA draft Wednesday night. The Golden State Warriors took center James Wiseman with the #2 pick, and guard LaMelo Ball followed as the third pick to the Charlotte Hornets.

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