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RECAP: West Virginia opens 2020 season with an Eastern Kentucky beatdown

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CUE COUNTRY ROADS

NCAA Football: Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) kicked off the 2020 season at home this afternoon with a 56-10 win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (0-2) from the FCS Ohio Valley Conference.

Prior to the game, Neal Brown announced that 11 players were suspended for the day — including starting inside receiver TJ Simmons, starting left tackle Junior Uzebu and starting center Chase Behrndt. Brown did confirm that the suspensions were in a direct response to those players violating a team rule, and did not have anything to do with COVID-19. Those suspensions were lifted at the final whistle, so those players are free to rejoin the team and will be available for the next game.

Highlights

Box Score

West Virginia

Eastern Kentucky

Takeaways

  • The big takeaway from this game is that we can’t really take too much away. Let’s be honest, Eastern Kentucky is not a good team. Yeah, the Mountaineers looked good today, but is that because we are actually good or is Eastern Kentucky just that bad? We’ll get a better idea of where this team actually is in two weeks when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater — assuming the game is played as scheduled.
  • Jarret Doege sat out the second half, as expected, after completing 19-of-25 passes (76%) for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Doege did have multiple passes that looked underthrown, but were still caught. Against better talent, those underthrown passes could be costly.
  • The run game looks much improved. West Virginia even struggled on the run against James Madison last year, so I’ll gladly take today’s performance as a good sign. The Mountaineers finished with 329 yards on the ground.
  • Garrett Greene is QB2 for me. Austin Kendall just doesn’t have it, and he showed when you compare his performance to what Greene did in the fourth quarter. That’s no disrespect to Kendall, but you have to build for the future and you need to give Greene those practice reps.

Injury Report

  • Offensive lineman Mike Brown went down with what looked to be a knee injury on West Virginia’s opening drive of the second half. We haven’t received an update on his status, but will continue monitoring the situation.

Players of the Game

Leddie Brown and Alec Sinkfield

NCAA Football: Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Brown had himself a day, finishing with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. He added another touchdown on a 15 yard reception. Sinkfield picked up after Brown sat for the second half, and also racked up 123 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

The duos performance marked the first time in 3 years that West Virginia has had two players go over 100 yards in a game — Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy vs. Kansas in 2017.

Tweet of the Game

YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO HEAR IT

What’s Next?

West Virginia is scheduled to travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma in two weeks to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys, provided both teams can meet the Big 12 requirement for available players. Game time and broadcast information will be released next week.