West Virginia holds off JMU to earn first victory of the Neal Brown era

WVU Football

West Virginia is officially 1-0 after earning a 20-13 victory over the visiting James Madison Dukes.

The Dukes had their offense rolling early behind quarterback Ben DiNucci. They were the first on the board after a methodical seven-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a touchdown run from Solomon Vanhorse, the first of his career.

West Virginia would answer minutes later in the second quarter from an Evan Staley field goal.

By halftime, the game was tilting in favor of the Dukes. In the first two quarters, JMU outgained their hosts 206 to 107 while the Mountaineers struggled to find an answer for the mobile DiNucci.

Austin Kendall started his first game in the old gold and blue but got off to a slow start in the first half, tallying only 86 yards. His first touchdown would come in the third quarter with a 28-yard pass to George Campbell, putting the Mountaineers in the lead for the first time all game.

West Virginia would get the final word in the fourth quarter. After Staley knocked in his second field goal of the game, Kendall would find Tevin Bush in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown.

Kendall would finish the game throwing 27-for-42 for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Despite the Mountaineers’ successes in the pass game, they struggled mightily on the ground. While their experienced running back corps were able to make some plays, they only amassed 34 rush yards for the entire game.

West Virginia returns to the field on Sept. 7 when they head on the road to take on Missouri.

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