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Mountaineers Roll in Season-Opening Win vs Eastern Kentucky

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The good outweighed the bad as West Virginia (10-0) enjoyed a 56-10 season-opening win over Eastern Kentucky (0-2) Saturday afternoon.

WVU’s offense effortlessly moved the ball down the field against the Colonels’ defense and the Mountaineers defense kept the EKU offense under control all game long.

The Mountaineers’ full first-team offense played for the entire first half of the game and put up 42 points and 398 total yards. 170 of those yards coming on the ground. The trio of quarterback Jarret Doege, running back Leddie Brown and receiver Sam James put on a show in the first half.

Doege completed 19-25 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. Five of those completions went to James, who finished with five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Brown exploded for 123 first-half rushing yards and three total touchdowns. Receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton also stood out, catching four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Eastern Kentucky, which was shut out against Marshall in its opener last week, scored its first points of the season in the second quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass but was otherwise handled by WVU’s defense. The Colonels gained 204 total yards, 131 in the air and 73 on the ground.

First-year starting safety Alonzo Addae finished with seven tackles and also made a diving interception in the first half. Arizona transfer linebacker Tony Fields II played well in his first game in Blue and Gold, leading the team with 10 tackles.

Bandit linebackers VanDarius Cowan and Jared Bartlett each had a sack. True freshmen Akheem Mesidor and Taurus Simmons also recorded their first career sacks.

In the second half, backup quarterback Austin Kendall went 3-6 for 43 yards. True freshman quarterback Garrett Greene got into the game in the fourth quarter and completed 3 of 4 passes for 24 yards and ran for 33 more.

At the end of the game, WVU scored 56 total points and gained 624 total yards. Both Brown (123) and Alec Sinkfield (123) finished with over 100 rushing yards and the team ran for 329 total yards. Receivers Sam Brown, Reese Smith and Graeson Malasevich all made their first career receptions.

The biggest negative of the game came on special teams, where the Mountaineers committed several penalties. WVU was called for eight total penalties on the day. Kicker Evan Staley also missed a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The Mountaineers will be off next week and return to action on Sept. 26 against Oklahoma State.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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