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Takeaways: WVU’s Biggest Weakness Still Evident Despite Enjoying Big Plays



Mountaineer running on WVU Football field with flags

It wasn’t always pretty, but WVU did what they had to do against Duquesne – they got the win. West Virginia was eventually able to beat the Dukes convincingly 56-17 despite a rough start to the game.

Usually when an FBS program faces an FCS school, it’s cut and dry. WVU’s win over Duquesne was anything but, and I’m not just referring to the weather either. So what actually happened in the game that may still impact the rest of the season for the Mountaineers, one way or another.

Garrett Greene Excelled in Down Field Passing

Even though WVU head coach Neal Brown thought Garrett Greene played relatively well under the circumstances against Penn State, he did make sure to say he needed to work on finding receivers who get open down the field. Greene must’ve listened because that’s exactly what he did on Saturday night in the home opener.

Against Duquesne, Greene threw for 240 yards and thew four touchdown passes in about one half of play. Brown even joked that he was now better at down field passing than shorter routes. Either way, West Virginia fans had to like seeing Greene air it out.

“I think the biggest thing was me getting on page with the wideouts. It all gets back to me. I’ve got to get them going,” said Greene about what have led to the increase in passing success.

Greene’s ability to throw has always been the question surrounding if he can be a quality starting quarterback in a major conference like the Big 12. He’s still going to need to show he can play like that in a bigger game.

WVU QB Garrett Greene Fired Up for Backyard Brawl: ‘We Don’t Like Them’

Fortunately for Greene, games don’t get much bigger for WVU than the next one as Pitt will be visiting Morgantown next Saturday night. And saying Greene is fired up would be an understatement.

Did WVU Find a New Star Receiver?

Hudson Clement went from afterthought, who most fans probably hadn’t heard of, to one of the most popular Mountaineers in just a few hours. The West Virginia native even stood out so much that he earned a full scholarship.

WVU WR Hudson Clement Earned Full Scholarship After Big 3-TD Game

Clement made five catches for 177 yards and found the end zone three times against the Dukes. With Devin Carter a late scratch, Clement stepped up far more than anyone could have ever believed was possible.

Brown said that Clement, not only deserved the scholarship, but that he deserves more playing time. It will now be interesting to see exactly how many targets Clement gets moving forward, especially if the rest of the receivers get healthy and the level of competition gets tougher.

The Secondary Remains a Major Concern

It was often the same old story for the secondary. For the second straight week, WVU’s safeties and corners appeared to struggle, especially if faced with any one-on-one coverage.

An excuse could be argued while facing the number seven team in the country, but the same problems were sill evident with a quarterback on an FCS team testing them.

The coaching has been telling us the defense would be deeper this season. For that to be the case, the secondary will have to step up and perform to the level of hype around the likes of Aubrey Burks, Beanie Bishop and a now more experienced Jacolby Spells.

Bishop did accomplish his first interception of the season in the game, and so did Anthony Wilcox. But that doesn’t make up for the struggles throughout most of the rest of the game. I’ve said before that the recipe for West Virginia to beat Pitt could be forcing Phil Jurkovec to make mistakes and turn the ball over. With that said, a veteran quarterback like Jurkovec could also pick apart the Mountaineers if the secondary doesn’t start playing much better.

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