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“We better be”: WVU opens 2020 season with emphasis on run game

Worst in the Big 12 in 2019 in rushing offense
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 9:37 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - WVU head coach Neal Brown said this spring that WVU’s goal for 2020 is to be the most improved team in college football.

That objective has not changed as we approach the Mountaineers opener against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and the pathway to achieving that starts on the ground.

When asked if WVU’s rushing attack will be improved this year, Brown simply said, “We better be.”

The Mountaineers ranked dead last in the Big 12 and third from the bottom among all FBS schools last year in rushing offense. They compiled just 879 total yards on the ground. That’s 73 a game, and averaged less than two yards per carry for just seven rushing touchdowns. Their leading rusher from a year ago, Leddie Brown, is back after leading the Mountaineers with 367 yards on the ground.

“As a football team, we have to run it better,” first-year offensive coordinator Gerad Parker said. “It’s really been a good challenge for all of us to see what works for us.”

Improving the run game will directly correlate with how many steps forward a young offensive line can take in 2020. The starters listed on the current depth chart are redshirt sophomores Junior Uzebu & James Gmiter, junior John Hughes & redshirt seniors Chase Behrndt & Michael Brown,

“Our goal from last year through the offseason was to be the most improved offensive line in the country and I truly believe that we will be,” redshirt sophomore offensive lineman James Gmiter said. “We have put in a lot of work in the offseason. I trust everyone on the offensive line and they trust me.”

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