Mountaineers Looking for Better Second Half of the Season

Franklin Markel, staff writer

The West Virginia Mountaineers have reached the halfway point for the 2019 season. A season that started with minimal changes has gone to script so far. The Mountaineers are currently 3-3 and have a daunting task ahead of them this weekend. Tomorrow’s game in Norman, Oklahoma against the fifth ranked Sooners is one that has blowout written all over it. 

Oklahoma has Heisman favorite Jalen Hurts as their quarterback. The Sooners also have weapons all around Hurts to put together a dynamic offense. Dynamic offenses are something OU is used to, but this year they finally have a winning defense. The defense has plagued Oklahoma’s national title hopes for the last decade but this year they have come around. For West Virginia, a team with a lack of talent heading into the season, the news surrounding the team recently has just been adding salt in the wound. Starting quarterback Austin Kendall left last week’s game with a pectoral injury. Running back Martell Pettaway announced his plans to sit out the rest of the season and transfer. Two offensive linemen, including All-Big 12 caliber tackle Josh Sills, have had season ending injuries. Wide receiver Tevin Bush announced his plans to transfer and fellow wideout Sean Ryan had surgery last week. 

On the defensive side of the ball nose tackle Taijh Alston is already out for the season and last week West Virginia learned linebacker VanDarius Cowan will miss the rest of the year. The Mountaineers already lost Jovanni Stewart to transfer and could very well be without their two best cornerbacks tomorrow. Keith Washington is questionable to play and Hakeem Bailey is suspended for the first half. Every week that list gets larger and larger and this rebuilding year for the Mountaineers continues to get tougher and tougher. The Mountaineers are facing one of the country’s best teams with a lot of inexperienced players that are going to need to play because of those absences. Baptism by fire is the term that best describes this situation. 

As for the players West Virginia will have on the field this week. Austin Kendall will probably be back to get his chance against his former squad. Kennedy McKoy and Leddie Brown are both active to try and negate the loss of Pettaway. Sam James, WVU’s most dangerous offensive player, will be doing all he can against a solid OU secondary. Defensively both Stills brothers will have to carry a weak box for the Mountaineers. In the secondary Josh Norwood is the only guarantee to play that carries any sort of experience at the college level. Oklahoma should blow the Mountaineers out of the water this week. If this game is close in the second half they should start building Neal Brown’s statue in Morgantown. 


Update:  Final score West Virginia 14 – Oklahoma 52