WVU Football Notebook | WVU | West Virginia Mountaineers Sports Coverage

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West Virginia’s Akheem Mesidor (90) flexes after sack as Dante Stills (55) watch

Throughout the year, West Virginia has been quite aggressive, and even more successful, attempting downward fourth conversions. In WVU’s final regular season win over Kansas, that phase of play was critical as the Mountaineers were 3-3 in those situations, while keeping Kansas at a 1-4 mark.

The difference started early, after Kansas clawed back a roaring transfer trade between Jarret Doege and Leddie Brown to establish themselves in the WVU 24 goal lineup. Already leading 3-0, the Jayhawks could have given themselves a Even bigger boost early on, but Jared Bartlett and Sean Mahone broke through in a blitz to sack quarterback Jalon Daniels in fourth and third place to give the ball back to the Mountaineers with no further damage on the scoreboard.

Two Mountaineer possessions later, WVU extended a practice with Leddie Brown winning four yards on fourths and one, which led to a Winston Wright scoring reception and a 14-6 lead.

West Virginia linebacker Jared Bartlett (10) sacks Kansas Jalon Daniels (6) on fourth down

The trend continued into the second period, with Brown converting another fourth and one, followed three games later by his 44-yard sprint to the end zone for another score and a 28-21 lead. On KU’s next possession he tried to replicate this feat, but Daniels’ keeper was pissed off by Akheem Mesidor, with WVU taking possession in midfield. This culminated in a Casey Legg field goal which extended WVU’s lead to 10.

WVU’s final conversion also resulted in points, as Doege’s one-yard sneak QB maintained a practice for another Legg field goal that gave WVU a 13-point cushion at 34- 21.

“I thought the fourth downs were huge today,” confirmed head coach Neal Brown. “These were some of the defining moments in the game.”

For the season, WVU is second in the Big 12 and 13th nationally for fourth down conversion percentage (18-26, 69.2%). Kansas State (13-18, 72.2%) led the league. WVU finished 16th nationally in fourth place conversion attempts.

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West Virginia’s injuries on the defensive side of football caused a lot of rework and game plan simplification, but it also had an effect on special teams, especially the kickoff cover unit. With a number of safeties and supports missing or unavailable, the Mountaineer cover team suffered a bit and had to resort to a number of different tactics to try and avoid big rollbacks. Those were either hit or miss, and it nearly bit WVU again in the Kansas game when the Jayhawks returned a 63-yard kickoff at the WVU 34-yard line with 5:41 left.

Trailing by 13 points, KU had time to get back into the game, and only the second of Josh Chandler-Semedo’s two interceptions in the end zone kept the Jayhawks from biting their nails in the end.

The Mountaineers fell to 76th nationally in return defense, allowing one touchdown on 40 return attempts and averaging 21.9 yards per return.

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With a guaranteed non-CFP bowl appearance, Brown won a bonus of $ 50,000. Each of the WVU Assistant Coaches earned a $ 10,000 bonus with the win, which will send WVU to a bowl game.

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In addition to a few gimmicky games, Kansas also repeatedly attempted a jumble near the line of scrimmage, then escaped to get close to the ball and quickly smash it – too quickly, it sometimes appeared naked. eye. The Jayhawks did not appear to come to the full one-second stop as required by rule on one occasion, but this violation was not reported by officials.

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No one might have deserved a better regular-season grand finale than linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, who had eight tackles and a pair of interceptions in the game. The Canton, Ohio native finished his 43rd game as a mountaineer in an excellent manner, playing on the pitch as the only true linebacker for much of the game. That may make him the target of some blocking shots and offensive game plans, but he’s still managed to hit the ball consistently and has led the Mountaineers this year with 104 saves, including 64 solo tackles.

West Virginia linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo celebrates his pair of interceptions

He’s the kind of player who never gets enough credit when he’s here and then when he’s gone you realize how much he’s going to miss him.

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Bandit VanDarius Cowan did not make it to the Kansas game and apparently completed his self-separation from the schedule. It was the latest in a long saga of trouble for the talented Cowan, who struggled with eligibility and personal demeanor during his time in Alabama, where he was charged with third degree assault and fired from the ‘Crimson Tide team. Given WVU a second chance, he performed well on the pitch at times, but inconsistency in game plan execution, injuries and other issues limited him to 16 games with the Mountaineers, in which he had 38 tackles and four sacks in three years. .

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