Like many of you, I have watched a lot of football over the past 60+ years, but WVU’s over JMU was the 1st game that I believe I have ever watched where the Belief of the Coaches and the Trust the players had in each other turned a team around in the 2nd half. Now I am not saying that this team went from playing horrible football to playing excellent football. What I am saying is that this group players went to the locker room at half time feeling somewhat dejected. The coaches at half time let these young men know at half time that they still believed in them and they hadn’t given up on them. This Trust lifted the players, and when they returned to the field they not only felt better about themselves and each other, but the renewed energy energized and excited the fans.
In the 1st half WVU had recovered 2 fumbles and blocked a field-goal, and were down 7 – 3 going in at half-time. This same team who struggled moving the ball in the 1st half came out in the 2nd half and out-scored JMU 17 – 6. The turn-around was due to the players believing in themselves, each other and the coaches. Thus, they began executing better.
WVU does have talent on all sides of the ball, but on this it was the talent of the Special Teams and Defense that shined. On Offense it was #14 WR Tevin Bush that put on a show. This 5’6”, 166# player put on an electrifying show in the 2nd half, and was named Player-of-the-Game. New Head Coach Neal Brown was given the Game Ball.
This team under these coaches will continue to improve each week. We’ll see a much more mature team take the field against Missouri. I look to see a much improved running game against Missouri, and improvement in the punt return game. The K-O and Punt Return games were better today than what we have seen since 2013, at least we didn’t see players catch the ball only to get planted or take a knee.
What we saw today was a WVU Team with much talent and speed.
I hope we see the TEs get more involved in the offense, especially in the passing game.
What we learned today is Austin Kendall is not a dual threat QB, and prefers not to run the fall. Today, Kendall carried the ball 3 times for 0 yards. This is why I prefer Trey Lowe as QB. Trey is more mobile, more accurate with the intermediate and longer passes. However, once Kendall settled down today, he completed 27 of 42 passes for a 64% completion ratio, and a QBR of 65. One thing that would help this offense is a dual threat QB, for this would have helped today.
I know Coach Brown told us that one reason Kendall received the starting QB job, was his ability to run with the ball, and another was his accuracy. We saw none of his ability as a runner, but his passing was better in the 2nd half than in the 1st. My big concern with Kendall going into Big 12 play is he could be prone to interceptions especially with the intermediate passes.
Congratulations on the Win!!!