For most of the 2020 season, the West Virginia offense has been considered the weak link of this team. However, especially in recent weeks, this unit has shown exponential growth from where it was a year ago under head coach Neal Brown.
In 2019, the Mountaineers struggled to find an identity. The rushing attack was lacking throughout most of the year and by the final month of the season, WVU had turned to a new starting quarterback.
In 2020, the Mountaineers now have their identity. The identity of West Virginia has been through running back Leddie Brown and the ground game. In just eight games, WVU has rushed for 1,255 total yards on the ground with Leddie Brown accumulating 817 yards on his own.
That total includes the 156 rushing yards Leddie Brown gained on the TCU Horned Frogs just one week after a hamstring injury that put his status in question.
“I told him, we’ll take care of you, but you got to do your end of the bargain, which is put in the time, invest in the time to put yourself in a position to play, and he did,” Neal Brown said on his running back’s progress through his injury.
Another improved aspect of this offense has been the consistent play of its starting quarterback with Jarret Doege. Doege leads the Big 12 in season passing yards with 2,219 yards and he is second in the conference with an average of 277 yards per game.
Doege has only tossed 13 touchdowns but he has done that against three interceptions.
“It allows you to improve,” Neal Brown said about Doege’s consistent play following the victory over Kansas State on Oct. 31. “Doege’s getting better. He’s strung together three 300-yard games, decision making is really good, demeaner, (he) had a calmness about him.”
Last season, West Virginia ranked No. 116 in NCAA FBS football in total offense. The Mountaineers averaged 21 points per game, 322 total yards and 73 rushing yards. After eight games, WVU ranks No. 33 in NCAA FBS football in total offense.
West Virginia averaged 29 points per game, 448 total yards and 157 rushing yards. WVU also has a 91% red zone scoring rate compared to just 74% in 2019.
There have been times this season where the Mountaineers have struggled to score in key positions, but there has been significant improvement for this unit in all aspects.