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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Bluefield native Sean Martin shows improvement in season opener

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 West Virginia at Maryland Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

FORMER BEAVER IMPRESSES MOUNTAINEER COACHES

After an incredible high school career as a Beaver and an opening college football season with limited action, Bluefield native Sean Martin is off to a great start in his second year at West Virginia. The redshirt freshman defensive end only played in five games last year, but in WVU’s season opener he was able to get on the field consistently and made the most of his opportunities. Martin had one tackle for loss in the Mountaineers’ loss to Maryland. And although that play was his only major mark in the stat book, the WVU coaches were pleased with his play.

Head coach Neal Brown noted that Martin “played really well in his first serious game action” and defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley discussed how the young defensive lineman is starting to take advantage of his length and his strength.

Continuing to impress the WVU coaches will help Martin keep getting more reps behind redshirt junior Taijh Alston, which could help the Mountaineer defense both now and in the future. Martin showed that he can be a defensive leader and step up in big games when he played at Bluefield High. In his senior season he made 102 tackles, had eight sacks, and forced four fumbles, making him the state’s most dominant defensive player. Martin has the potential to develop into a commanding defender in the college game too. His success will also help secure coach Brown’s control over the top recruits in the state, which is something that he and Mountaineer fans want to see for the program.

MEN’S SOCCER TEAM JUMPS INTO TOP FIVE

It has not taken head coach Dan Stratford long to make the Mountaineers a very relevant men’s soccer team. West Virginia made an incredible jump from unranked to #5 in the nation after a pair of wins over then-#3 Pitt, 2-1, and then-#17 Penn State, 3-1, last week. This is the first time that WVU has earned back-to-back wins over ranked opponents since 1998 and it is the highest the team has been ranked since 2007. The huge wins over ranked rivals and the leap in the national polls are very exciting for Mountaineer soccer fans and show that the second-year head coach could be taking the program to the next level.

WVU also had junior midfielder Luke McCormick be named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Men’s Player of the Week. This accolade followed his Mid-American Conference Player of Week honor earlier this week. The Mountaineers return to action on Friday when they try to “Defend Dlesk” against Ohio State.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • Mountaineer fans have been asked to “Trust the Climb” and many found themselves questioning that belief after West Virginia’s opening loss to Maryland. WVU head coach Neal Brown wants his team to have faith in its ability to be successful and his ability to build a program. Are you still “Trusting the Climb?”
  • The #18 West Virginia women’s soccer team has lost its first two matches against ranked opponents this season, so hopefully the third time is the charm. The Mountaineers are hosting #24 Georgetown tonight. WVU enters the game 3-2 this season and the Hoyas are 2-0-3. The match will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+

AROUND THE BIG 12

AROUND THE NCAA

ODDS AND ENDS

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