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Opposition Report – West Virginia

The Improved 3-1 Mountaineers Invade the Jones with some familiar faces

Photo CC:  Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE(Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE – US PRESSWIRE)

The Improved 3-1 Mountaineers Invade the Jones with some familiar faces 

This Saturday, you’ll be comparing the old with the new. Except this time, the new is on the other sideline. Lubbock Cooper’s own Jarrett Doege, the little brother of former Tech QB Seth Doege, is making a grand reentrance into Lubbock as a Mountaineer. Doege will not be the sole troublemaker on the other sideline. Watch out for a massively improved defense and a tough-as-nails run game.

The Quarterback

After Texas Tech’s lukewarm recruitment of Jarrett Doege, the 6-2, 208 RD-JR signal caller from Lubbock Cooper ended without an offer. Doege would emerge his senior year as a Bowling Green commit. The QB would not be a Falcon for long though, transferring to West Virginia after a strong sophomore season, for 2600 yards, 27 tds. Doege started all 12 games for the Falcons his sophomore year – which was a first in some time for the Bowling Green program. 

Why Bowling Green? At the time of his recruitment, older brother Seth Doege was the WR Coach, along with a slew of other Tech-related staff whom Jarrett grew up around in Lubbock. But by midseason, BGU decided to part ways with then-coach Mike Jinx. With Seth not being retained after Jinx’s dismissal, Jarrett entered the transfer portal and headed to Morgantown.

After injuries and low performances at the QB position, Doege would get his first start vs Kansas State, going 20-for-30 with 234 yards and three touchdowns. The beginning of the 2019 season saw three other QBs ahead of him on the depth chart, including Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall. Kendall’s struggles and Doege’s ability to rise in the depth chart gave Neal Brown confidence in the then-sophomore. 

Currently, Doege has passed for just over 1,000 for the season with 8 TDS. He’s not going to flash and dash you, but Doege will take advantage of each and every opportunity his defense gives him – a sign of an excellent game manager. He’s not broken the 400-yard mark this season, but that could change with an ill-prepared Tech defense.

The Coaches

Former Tech OC/QB Coach Neal Brown, a signatory of the AirRaid offense, makes his return to Lubbock. If you had any question on why younger Doege made his way to Morgantown, you have your answer. This is what we know from experience – Brown is an excellent game planner, but an even better play-caller. He has learned from the best, served under the best, and has become one of the youngest offensive gurus in college football. 

Another Texas Tech connection on the offensive side is former OL Coach Matt Moore, currently with the same position at West Virginia. With Tech’s defense still struggling, come prepared for him to exploit mismatches upfront.

Running Game

Neal Brown is strictly AirRaid, right? While the AirRaid is still his base, he definitely adds a well-balanced run game. No better example is his use of Junior RB Leddie Brown, who currently ranks fifth in the country with 515 yards on 81 attempts. Get ready to see a lot of this guy – He had 230 yards and two TDS vs Kansas. 

Oh, and another problem – Brown is also an expert reciever, posting a TD as well last week. A RB with excellent pass-catching abilities is prototypical Neal Brown. 

The Receivers & Tight Ends

The receiving corp is led by a trio – Sophomores Winston Wright, Bryce Ford-Weaton, and Sam James. While Wright is leading the way in targets from Doege with 234 yards on 19 receptions, James (18) and Ford-Wheaton (13) are getting their fair shares of receptions. 

Be aware that the Mountaineers do underutilize the TE position. Their three top TE targets have only accounted for 9 receptions for the season. This highly differs from past Neal Brown offenses. 

As we move into D-talk, Read below –

The Defense Line

The Mountaineers started the season defensively with DL Darius Stills on the preseason All-Big12 first team. But the 6’4, 280 JR has been pretty quiet thus far, posting 13 tackles with zero sacks.

Making up for Darius Still’s lack of production is 6’2 268 FR Akeem Mesidor, with 15 tackles and four sacks. The Ottawa, Canada native has been a big surprise up front, coming off his best game with two sacks vs Kansas.

But don’t forget about SR Jeffery Pooler. The 6’2 250 pounder is also a force, as he too is coming off his best game with 6 tackles, two sacks. Pooler seems to be progressing into the senior leader the defense of WV is looking for. 

If Stills, Pooler, and Mesidor get going, Watch out….

The Linebackers

If the defensive line got you worried, meet 6’1, 220 SR Tony Fields who leads the Mountaineers with 35 total tackles (sack, int, PD). While he does seem undersized as an ILB, Fields more than makes up for it with sideline to sideline speed. He can also cover receivers in the open field.

But the linebacker to watch is Junior 5’11, 220 Josh Chandler-Semedo. He might be small in stature, but like Fields, he makes up for it with speed and toughness. A stronger appearance from the Tech TEs could cause some matchup problems for him and the rest of the WVU linebacker group. 

The Secondary 

The defensive backfield is led by SR S Alonzo Addae (2 ints), second to Fields with 26 tackles. The 5’11, 189 SR-CB is an excellent pass defender with even better technique. Oh – and he loves the middle of the field…

At the CB position is 6’1, 192 Dreshun Miller (1 int), another Georgia native who came in very highly rated from a stellar career at Eastern Arizona JC. With his height and speed, look for him to be utilized with Tech’s top targets. 

Special Teams 

It’s not a returner you need to worry about from the Mountaineers, its special team’s star JR LB Exree Loe. A backup to LB Chandler-Semedo, Loe has made the most of every appearance. Even Brown has pointed out Loe’s play each and every week in practice, praising his nonstop motor and focus. 

The Take

Buckle up Raider fans, the Mountaineers come in as a Neal Brown team that’s just beginning to flex. The Mountaineer defense comes in as the top defensive unit in the country, with an offense that can take advantage of any opportunity given. Dominating play by West Virginia’s D will allow their offense to step on the gas even more.

Neal Brown will look to kick open that HBU wound in a big way. The best offense is a good defense, and Neal Brown has it.

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