WVU V KANSAS 17

WVU’s Kennedy McKoy braces to be tackled by Kansas’ Dru Pox.

For the first time this season, West Virginia’s Martell Pettaway found the endzone.

In fact, in Saturday’s 29-24 win over Kansas, the senior running back did it twice.

The first touchdown, a 23-yard carry on the first WVU offensive drive of the second half, was Pettaway’s first touchdown since November 2018.

The second, a 7-yard rush coming with 5:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, was effectively the final nail in the coffin for the Jayhawks.

Pettaway, who finished the day with 40 yards on six carries, was one of a trio of Mountaineer rushers that found success against the Kansas defense, helping lead the team to their third win of the season.

The Mountaineers totaled 192 rushing yards on Saturday — the highest such total in the Neal Brown era, as well as the highest single-game total since West Virginia rushed for 232 against Texas on Nov. 3, 2018.

In fact, this same group — except Leddie Brown, who was sidelined with an injury at the time — was the same group that ran for a meager 30 yards against Missouri two weeks ago.

So, what’s changed since then? According to head coach Neal Brown, a variety of factors have played a role in getting the run game off of the ground.

In addition to praising assistant coaches for their adjustments, as well as quarterback Austin Kendall’s field vision and the improved blocking ability at a variety of positions, Brown praised the physicality of his rushers — something he has pushed for throughout the season.

“I think we’re running the ball harder,” Brown said.

Alongside the two touchdowns put forth by Pettaway, senior Kennedy McKoy led the team in total rushing as he tallied 73 yards on 20 attempts — a season high. He also added in a touchdown, which was the first WVU score of the game.

Rounding out the trio was sophomore Leddie Brown who, after returning from an injury that sidelined him for the first two weeks of the season, rushed for 70 yards on 12 attempts.