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West Virginia Mountaineers look for consistent effort vs. Long Island

Sep 4, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown talks to the media after a loss to the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown talks to the media after a loss to the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

When West Virginia scored on three of its first four possessions last week against Maryland, it appeared poised for a productive performance with an offense that featured some nice individual efforts.

It did not continue after halftime, however.

The Mountaineers (0-1) hope the offense is more consistent Saturday in their home opener against FCS foe Long Island in Morgantown, W. Va.

West Virginia returns home after some mixed results in its 30-24 season-opening setback to Maryland. Leddie Brown scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and Winston Wright set a school record with 217 yards in kickoff returns.

Those individual performances were negated by a rough showing from quarterback Jarret Doege, who threw two interceptions. West Virginia allowed 13 points off four turnovers.

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The individual performances were also negated by a defense that allowed 332 of its 496 yards through the air and a rushing offense held to 48 yards.

“I still have extreme faith that we’re going to prevail and we’re going to build a program here that’s going to have great infrastructure and be set up to win long term,” Mountaineers coach Neal Brown said. “But I’m also not blind to what our brutal facts are right now. And that’s that we’re 0-1 and we didn’t play very well.”

“Our brutal reality is that we’re 0-1 in which we were soundly defeated. Offensively, we had three turnovers. We didn’t play physical enough upfront. We weren’t consistent enough at quarterback. Defensively, we didn’t play to the standard that we’ve created here over the last year and a half.”

West Virginia is facing Long Island, which competes in the Northeast Conference, before tangling with Virginia Tech and Oklahoma in its next two games.

The Sharks (0-1) were picked for sixth in the NEC’s preseason poll in their first season under Jonathan Gill, who is the school’s first new coach since 1998. Gill, who replaced Bryan Collins, saw LIU allow 594 yards in a 48-10 loss to Florida International last week.

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Quarterback Camden Orth completed 15 of 30 passes for 197 yards as the Sharks began a stretch of three straight games against FBS teams.

“They’re a good team and they play in a Power 5 conference,” LIU wide receiver Derick Eugene said. “So it’s going to be fun to go out there and compete with guys that are at the top level of the NCAA.”

–Field Level Media