J.R.'S West Virginia Football Page
"A Mountaineer in Michigan"

Hello I'm J.R. Holmes, a Mountaineer living in Wixom, Michigan. Though I have Wolverines to the left and Spartans to the right, I will always be a MOUNTAINEER!!!!...Sound the battle cry


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A View of Mountaineer Field from the Goodyear Blimp

West Virginia vs Eastern Kentucky

Shortened 2020 Season opens in Morgantown with no fans allowed

Neal Browns 2nd Campaign a year of Challenges and Hopefully Progress

Next up: WVU at Oklahoma State in Stillwater Oklahoma

Well Mountaineers we are just a couple of days away from the start of this crazy 2020 Football season. WVU will be welcoming in the Eastern Kentucky Colonels fresh off there less than inspiring 59-0 destruction against our sister University the Marshall Thundering Herd. I am not looking for as massive a blowout victory this Saturday in Morgantown but lets be honest, anything short of say 45-10 would be a bit disappointing. West Virginia truly needs a game like this because they have to get out of the gate being able to establish a running game of some sort. Last season WVU was I believe either the worst running team in the NCAA or the 2nd worst at about 33 yards a game early on and did eventually improve to about 70 per game late in the season.

Its really astounding and a tribute to Neal Browns coaching staff that they finished 5-7 and were just a few plays away in 20-13 loss at home against Oklahoma State from getting a win and finishing 6-6 and qualifying for a bowl game. The West Virginia defense was a big reason they were not a lot worse with the Stills brothers Dante and Darius leading the way on the defensive line. WVU had nice wins on the road at Kansas State and finished the season with a nice 20-17 win at TCU that knocked the Horned Frogs out of a Bowl Game.

As for the running attack WVU returns junior tailback Leddie Brown as the number one tailback with redshirt junior Alec Sinkfield and the number two. They are also looking at redshirt freshman Tony Mathis Jr and true freshman Markquan Rucker and AVarius Sparrow. At quarterback WVU named Jarret Doege the transfer from Bowling Green that quarterbacked them to those great road victories over Kansas State and TCU after taking over for Austin Kendall the much-heralded transfer from Oklahoma who struggled leading the Mountaineer attack most of the season. Kendall does appear to be the backup quarterback to Doege but the Mountaineer coaches are impressed with true freshman Garrett Green and since true freshman can play the entire season in 2020 without losing a year of eligibility, he will certainly see some action.

At wideout WVU will again be led by redshirt sophomore Sam James who I look to have a breakout season if the offensive line hold up enough to allow WVU quarterbacks to get him the football and the before mentioned running attack will play a big part in that as if the Mountaineers can run the football with any success the passing attack will of course be the better for it. Along with James WVU will feature redshirt senior T.J. Simmons who came to WVU from the Alabama Crimson Tide last season and Sophomore Winston Wright. Sophomore Ali Jennings will also be in the mix. While the before mentions Stills brothers and the WVU defensive line is certainly a strength for the Mountaineers the offensive line will again be a question mark but there is reason for hope of major improvement just by experience alone. The Blue & Gold News broke it down this way.

Best case scenario West Virginias likely first team trio of interior offensive linemen James Gmiter and Mike Brown at the guards and Chase Behrndt at center had three starts between them heading into the 2019 campaign with all those from Behrndt the season before. Now that group has 29 career starts between them. Thats a huge difference, and should turn a weak spot from last year into a solid one in 2020. Finding two new starting tackles wont be easy, in particular replacing Big 12 co-offensive lineman of the year Colton McKivitz at left tackle. Former junior college transfer John Hughes now has a year in the program and seems capable of handling the right tackle job, although center Briason Mays has been moved outside for part of the fall to provide competition, and perhaps challenge for the starting job. On the left side, sophomore Junior Uzebu and redshirt freshman Brandon Yates are battling for the spot, according to Brown. Also in the picture for a backup role is redshirt freshman Parker Moorer.

The Worst-case scenario would of course be that these returning offensive lineman simply are not very talented, at least to compete in a Power 5 league like the Big 12 and they did lose by far there best offensive lineman from what was a rather Offensive, Offensive Line to the NFL in Colton McKivitz. I would rather believe that the before mentioned 29 carrier starts will benefit this line immensely.

On the Defensive side of the football the Defensive Line is a major strength on this football team. This is how the Blue & Gold news addressed the Defensive Line.

The Stills brothers may head WVUs defensive line list this coming season, but they arent the only ones returning, just the most experienced. Jeffery Pooler (6-2, 255 lbs., Sr.) was a nice contributor at defensive end for the West Virginia last season, playing alongside and sometimes in tandem with when WVU went to a pure four man front Jones at that position. Pooler saw action in all 12 games, starting seven of them. A former defensive tackle who slimmed down to increase his speed when Neal Brown took over as the Mountaineer head coach prior to the 2019 season, Pooler recorded 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs last year. Getting more speed and range on the field at both the linebacking and safety spots has also been a goal, and WVU now has some candidates to do so. Transfer Tony Fields adds proven performance, and can play at either will or mike, and the addition of three freshmen at bandit, along with transfer Bryce Brand, allowed Jared Bartlett to move back to mike, which also adds more size and speed on the second level. Better pass coverage from the safeties was also a priority for the coaching staff, and there was one move to try to achieve that. Alonzo Addae moved to free safety, in part to fill the gap left by Kerry Martin, who opted out of playing this year. His play in the back will be vital, given that the Mountaineers have to replace both starting cornerbacks from a year ago.

Of course, all the positives associated with the 2019 Mountaineer defense and how they progressed as the season went on were largely attributed to then Defensive Coordinator Vic Koennig who resigned early this year over allegations of player abuse. Will the defense pick up where they left off in 2019 under new Co-Defensive Coordinators Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae? In any event it will be a season of challenges as WVU looks to build depth on both sides of the football while improving on the foundation and strong finish they had last season.

Until Next Time Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Mountaineers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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(Updated 11/30/19)

2020 WVU Football Schedule

(P) Parents Day - (H) Homecoming - (M) Mountaineer Week - (V) Varsity Day - (N) Night

Click Opponents Name to visit Official University Website
Click Game Date for Box Score                         17                               
Game Date Game Time Opponent/Location                 Event Televised     Game Score
09/12/20   Noon  Eastern Kentucky
Non League Game Fox Sports 1 West Virginia            
Eastern Kentucky         
09/26/20 TBD  Oklahoma St
 Stillwater, OK   
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia             
Oklahoma St                  
10/03/20 TBD  Baylor
Big 12 Game

TBD West Virginia         
10/17/20 TBD  Kansas
 Morgantown, WV     
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia           
10/24/20 TBD  Texas Tech
 Red Raiders
Big 12 Game

TBD West Virginia           
Texas Tech                         
10/31/20 TBD Kansas St
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia           
Kansas St                     
11/07/20 TBD Texas
Austin, TX
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia          
11/14/20 TBD TCU
Horned Frogs
Morgantown, WV   
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia         
11/28/20 TBD Oklahoma
Morgantown, WV     
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia           
12/05/20 TBD Iowa St
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia         
Iowa State              

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