One of West Virginia’s main goals for 2020 is to turn around its ground game.
The lack of one was the weak point for the Mountaineers in 2019, tallying fewer than 1,000 rushing yards as a team. WVU did take a few hits in that area with the losses of Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway.
Now, Pettaway only played four games and subsequently sat out the remainder of the season before deciding to transfer in December. He had over 1,000 rushing yards during his career in the Old Gold and Blue, but the main departure is surely that of McKoy’s.
It was a less-than ideal senior season for the North Carolina native, only putting together 323 rushing yards and three touchdowns — but he left Morgantown with the seventh-most touchdowns in program history.
The key returners for WVU in 2020 include Leddie Brown, who led the Mountaineers in rushing last season, along with Alec Sinkfield, who saw just a single start last season. Tony Mathis will be back for WVU as well after redshirting last season, but he was able to get some experience late in the schedule.
- Junior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 5-11, 214 lbs
- Brown has started three games in his career, and saw an uptick in his workload in the homestretch of 2019. He peaked in the Mountaineers’ upset win at Kansas State, running for 62 yards on 13 carries — but his lone touchdown on the ground came much earlier in week two against NC State. His best performances came in his freshman year, however, when he amassed a total of 446 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
- Redshirt Junior from Delray Beach, Florida
- 5-9, 184 lbs
- Sinkfield only had 17 touches in the run game last season, most of which came in the first three weeks of the season — but Neal Brown showed he wanted the ball in his hands, utilizing him as a kick and punt returner. He could very well see a bigger role in the Mountaineers’ backfield in 2020.
Other Returners: Tony Mathis (r-Fr.), Lorenzo Dorr (r-Sr.), TJ Kpan (r-Jr.), Jason Edwards (r-So.), Owen Chafin (r-Fr.)
Departures: Kennedy McKoy (20 starts), Martell Pettaway (6 starts)