The 105th meeting of the Backyard Brawl has officially come to an end. West Virginia was unable to complete the upset against Pitt. Daniels made his debut as a Mountaineer and gave it all he had to make an impact on the game. With so much promise and signs of success, the Mountaineers still have major improvements to make to become a winning team.
JT Daniels showed Mountaineer fans what a confident quarterback looked like. Early on the West Virginia offensive line was clearly struggling. Wyatt Milum had two false starts early on causing the Mountaineer offense to have poor field position. The offensive line as a whole seemed to struggle tonight against Pitt’s defense. While WVU recorded more sacks than Pitt, Daniels was pushed and shoved around for most of the night. Daniels was able to make some impressive passes despite the fact he knew he was going to be hit.
A quarterback is not able to shine without a playmaking wide receiver, Bryce Ford-Wheaton is that guy. Ford-Wheaton recorded 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions for 83 yards. CJ Donaldson showed he can be utilized in many ways offensively, listed as a tight end Donaldson was a force rushing the ball. Donaldson had 7 carries for 125 yards and 1 touchdown. Mathis Jr. consistently ran the ball for 4.5 yards per carry on 17 carries. With the receiving and rushing core showing promise, the offensive line could be the biggest problem for West Virginia’s offense.
West Virginia has big receivers who make themselves known and full steam ahead running backs. The offense shows so much promise but without a consistent line to protect JT Daniels, fans can question how Daniels lasts before he gets hurt.
The defensive line was a force against Pitt, Dante Stills was able to make himself known the entire game. As with the offense, where the defense shines they also have major problems. The Mountaineer secondary was almost non-existent throughout the game. While Kedon Slovis was facing intense pressure from the WVU defense, Pitt was able to find several wide open receivers throughout the whole game. Not all the blame can be placed on the secondary, Pitt was able to make big plays to keep themselves in the game and secure a victory.
Backyard Brawl’s Conclusion
In the end, the Mountaineers could not pull off the victory. The West Virginia Mountaineers should walk away from this loss with a lot of signs of what they need to work on. Until next time, Pittsburgh will have bragging rights.