West Virginia head coach Neal Brown played his cards close to his chest all week about what his team would do at quarterback against Kansas State Saturday.
All Brown would say on the matter this week was that he and the WVU coaching staff had a plan.
The plan was revealed just before kick-off Saturday when it was reported that junior quarterback Jarret Doege would start in the place of Austin Kendall.
Doege, a transfer from Bowling Green, made his Mountaineer debut late in the game against Texas Tech last week. He completed 11-17 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Doege last start before Saturday came on Nov. 13, 2018 for Bowling Green against Buffalo.
Doege said he learned that he would be starting early in the week.
“My first thoughts were, ‘take it as another game’,” Doege said. “I’ve done this before and just prepare like I’ve always prepared.”
Doege’s day started shakily, with the WVU offense going three-and-out on its first drive of the day. After Kansas State scored one a single 68-yard touchdown pass, however, Doege went to work.
On the following two drives for WVU, Doege completed 6-of-9 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns went to senior receiver George Campbell. West Virginia entered halftime with a slim 14-13 lead.
“Once we did that I knew we were going to be in this game into the fourth quarter,” head coach Neal Brown said.
Kansas State’s opening drive of the second half looked like it could have been a backbreaker. The Wildcats went 70 yards in 13 plays and took more than seven minutes off the clock to score a touchdown and take a 20-14 lead.
In response, Doege drove the Mountaineers down the field for a 51-yard Casey Legg field goal. On the following WVU drive, Doege threw his third touchdown pass of the day to a wide-open Bryce Wheaton to take a 24-20 WVU lead.
West Virginia’s defense held the Wildcats scoreless for the remainder of the day and the Mountaineers came away with their first victory since September.
Doege finished that day 20-30 for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked twice, but the WVU offense never turned the ball over and scored on three of four redzone trips.