Neal Brown will be the first to tell you that his team’s performance in week two was not up to par. With the 129th-ranked rushing attack in the country and a turnover-ridden passing performance in week two, the Mountaineers have a shot to redeem themselves against the visiting NC State Wolfpack at noon ET on Saturday.
The Mountaineers are 5-5 all-time against the Wolfpack, and were most recently slated to face them last season — but Hurricane Florence caused the game to be canceled. Previously, these two foes squared off in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl — a 23-7 victory for NC State.
NC State is led by head coach Dave Doeren, who has a 45-34 record with the Wolfpack in seven seasons.
The Wolfpack are currently undefeated after taking a pair of wins from East Carolina and Western Carolina — and in the process, they didn’t give up a single touchdown. Wolfpack writers, like WNCN’s Todd Gibson, are giving “kudos” to NC State’s new defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, who brought his patented 3-3-5 defense over from his time at West Virginia.
“They’ve got some really good young linebackers that are trying to get playing time, and that defense kind of bodes well for those guys to get on the field,” Todd Gibson said.
Talented linebacker corps, like that of the Wolfpack, are tough to puncture — especially when they are led in tackles by a freshman like Payton Wilson.
The West Virginia offense will do their best to get past that defense, especially after some changes on the offensive line. After their loss to Missouri, Neal Brown made it apparent that they will be looking to make changes, both in the lineup and in their mentality. In their released depth chart, they showed just one change on the offensive line — redshirt freshman Briason Mays will get his first career start at center.
Austin Kendall will once again start for West Virginia at quarterback, hoping to make up for his rough outing against Missouri. He squares off against Matthew McKay, a sophomore who has totaled 508 yards and 2 touchdowns in their two games.
Where to watch:
The Mountaineers’ game against the Wolfpack will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1, and will be streamed on the Fox Sports Go app.