The play of the offensive line will be one of the main points of interest this season for West Virginia football.
During the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference Monday morning, WVU head coach Neal Brown said his offensive line was a mixed bag in the team’s first Big 12 game Saturday.
“There were some highs and there were several lows,” Brown said. “I think the highs were…Mike Brown and Chase Behrndt played really well.”
The Mountaineers started with Junior Uzebu, Mike Brown, Behrndt, James Gmiter and John Hughes, left to right. Neal Brown was pleased with the improvements the team showed from 2019.
“We ran the ball much better, I thought Leddie [Brown] played better, we were able to get the ball to the line of scrimmage. All those negative yardage came on pass plays,” Neal Brown said. “We got Leddie to the line of scrimmage, which is a significant upgrade from where we were last year.”
Junior running back Leddie Brown gained 107 yards and only lost three for a net of 104. 104 yards was more than Leddie Brown had in any one game all of last season.
While Neal Brown praised Mike Brown and Behrndt, he was critical of his tackles.
“We weren’t good enough at tackle, we’ll look at some ways we can get better there,” Neal Brown said. “A lot of it was…a lot of footwork and just not having their eyes where they’re supposed to be. That was the first time they played in a game with that quality of people too so they’ll get better.”
Uzebu and Hughes, both first-years starters at tackle, struggled at times against Oklahoma State’s pass rush. WVU quarterback Jarret Doege was sacked five times by the Cowboys.
“We didn’t protect as well, but part of that’s on Jarret too,” Neal Brown said. “Jarret didn’t move in the right direction some.”