The 2018 season could not have started off better for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
The team opened their season in Charlotte against a Tennessee team who many thought could give them a real run for their money. West Virginia proved that theory wrong, crushing Tennessee 40-14 and looking like the better team in all facets of the game.
This week the Mountaineers take on Youngstown State in their home opener at 6:00 pm EST on Saturday. Here are three players to watch for as West Virginia attempts to improve to 2-0 on the season.
1. Gary Jennings Jr. WR
For the West Virginia Mountaineers, the passing game looked about as good as it was last season before Will Grier’s injury. David Sills the team’s star wideout, had an outstanding game catching seven passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Although Sills is a stud, Gary Jennings Jr, the teams second wideout, is the real x-factor of the team’s offense. Jennings had a great start to the season catching six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. When Jennings is on his game, the Mountaineers offense is virtually impossible to stop. If he can continue this performance this game and throughout the rest of the season, West Virginia will have a top-five offense in all of college football.
2. David Long Jr. LB
One of the pleasant surprises from week one was the West Virginia defense. Coming into the season the Mountaineers defense was there biggest question mark, and they showed up in a big way in week one. The team held Tennessee to just 14 points and also kept their offense under 200 yards passing. David Long was a big reason for this. The leader of the Mountaineers defense led the team with nine total tackles and recorded one tackle for loss. Long is the spark-plug for the Mountaineers D, and as he goes they go. If Long can keep up this pace and bring the same performance he did last week this weekend, it will be a long day for Youngstown State.
3. Jack Allison QB
With Will Grier lighting it up last week and throwing five touchdown passes, it is safe to say the game against Youngstown State this weekend could get out of hand fairly quickly. If this is the case, West Virginia may turn the duties over to their backup quarterback Jack Allison. This will be the first look in-game at what figures to be West Virginia’s future at quarterback after Grier departs. Allison will more than likely be leading the Mountaineers offense in 2019, and it will be intriguing to see how he plays for the first time in a real game. If things look good having Grier this year and Allison after could provide lots of optimism for Mountaineer fans of the near future.
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