2019 West Virginia Mountaineers College Football Preview
BET ON THE WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia Mountaineers
Milan Puskar Stadium
(60,000 Seat Stadium)
Morgantown, West Virginia
You would think that an 8-4 finish with the #20 spot in the final AP poll would be something to be happy about for West Virginia.
That would be incorrect however, considering that the began the season 8-1, and lost to Oklahoma State and then Oklahoma in succession to close out the regular season.
They played in the Camping World Bowl, and with Will Grier sitting to focus on the NFL Draft, Jack Allison went 17-35 with an interception.
The team has some work to do this year, with their superstar QB and best defensive player in the NFL now.
West Virginia Offense
After throwing 37 TD passes last season and helping the team to an 8-1 start, Will Grier is now with the Carolina Panthers. Austin Kendall, who is a transfer from Oklahoma and threw just four passes for a season ago, is now a Mountaineer and he is expected to be the starter. It is unclear how long his leash is, but Jack Allison needs to stay ready.
The running attack last year was led by Kennedy McKoy, who ran 145 times for 802 yards (5.5 YPA) and scored eight touchdowns. He caught 17 passed for 224 yards and another score. He’s back in the fold as starter this year, with his backup Martell Pettaway (98 rush, 623 yards, six touchdowns) also returning to take some carries.
David Sills was the team’s top pass-catcher, hauling in 65 catches for 986 yards 15 TD’s. He’s now in the NFL, as is the case with Gary Jennings, who added another 13 receiving touchdowns a season ago. That is 28 of the team’s 37 receiving scores right there. Bryce Wheaton, TJ Simmons and Tevin Bush will start as the wide outs in 2019.
West Virginia Defense
Their best player from a season ago, David Long now finds himself with the Rams. Over 100 tackles (19.5 for loss, seven sacks), and four passes defended. He will be missed, but Jovanni Stewart (10.5 TFL, four sacks) is back in the fold. They also retain nose tackle Darius Stills, who also had four sacks a season ago.
Joshua Norwood led the way with 10 passes defended and will be back in the fold, while Keith Washington and his nine passes defended will not be back. Kenny Robinson led the way with four picks (four passes defended, one forced fumble), and is back to retain his role as free safety.
West Virginia Special Teams
All of the kicking last season was handled by Evan Stanley. He converted 59 of 60 XPA’s and 16 of his 20 field goal tries. He returns for his junior season.
Alec Sinkfield will be taking over kick-return duties from Marcus Simms.
West Virginia Preview
They project to be a very good team once again, but all eyes will be on QB Austin Kendall. After the level of production Will Grier provided them with last year, there will be a lot of pressure.
Look for Kenny Robinson to have a tremendous year and boost his draft stock.
Somewhere in the ballpark of 9-10 wins for WVU this year.