Notes from the opponent: West Virginia

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 19 Double Coverage flipbook.

The Daily Texan spoke with Charles Montgomery, sports editor of West Virginia’s The Daily Athenaeum, ahead of Texas football’s trip to Morgantown on Saturday.

The Daily Texan: What are West Virginia coaches and players saying about a 4–6 Texas team (that) is coming off of a five-game losing streak and a home loss against Kansas?

Charles Montgomery: They are still very cautious of this team … (Texas’) defense has definitely had its problems. They talked about that, but I don’t think (West Virginia) is in the position to say anything about an opposing team’s defense when they tout the offense that they have. So they’re not saying that Texas is the greatest defensive team that they’re going to face this year, but they’re also not writing them off.

DT: Interestingly, both teams in this series have better records on the road against the home team. What do you make of that from West Virginia’s perspective and what will the home environment be like come Saturday?

CM: That is still one of the most wild things … it’s going to be a pretty good atmosphere because it is Texas, and for some reason West Virginia fans like to consider Texas a rival, which is not the case. It’s never been the case, but it will still be a pretty good atmosphere. When it comes between West Virginia and Texas, it doesn’t matter where the game is played. Home-field advantage is completely thrown out the window between these two teams because of what we’ve seen in the past with how the road team does.

DT: What is redshirt senior quarterback Jarrett Doege like from a leadership perspective and what skills does he bring to the field?

CM: Two years ago when he came on late in the year and West Virginia made a late push in the season and won a couple games, he really kind of rallied the team around him. I think he has decent leadership. He’s not a game-changer. He’s not a guy that is going to make plays that are going to win you games … last year, we all talked about his consistency. He was so consistent, and he never really did things to hurt the team. Well, he didn’t really do a lot of things to help the team. So, that’s one of his problems, (that) he has this great ability to be consistent at times and he makes the game move along, but he’s not gonna change the game with his play.

DT: What are some other names on West Virginia’s offense to look out for?

CM: Definitely Leddie Brown at running back. Because West Virginia hasn’t run the ball as much as they said they would, his name has kind of been lost to a lot of people. He’s still one of the better running backs in the Big 12. I think now without Bijan Robinson playing, he’s probably right there behind Breece Hall as the second-best back in the conference. Bryce Ford-Wheaton is (also) fantastic. He’s got incredible size and he can really make plays. He has a great opportunity to really break the game open when he can. Winston Wright Jr. is a very versatile player. You can pop him in the slot. You can do a little end around with him because he’s so fast, but he’s also an incredible receiver. He can catch a lot of great balls.

DT: West Virginia is currently favored by 2.5 over the Longhorns. What is your prediction for what happens on Saturday?

CM: I don’t know why I’m gonna do it, but I’ll pick ‘em. I’ll pick West Virginia. I’ll say 34-30. It’s always a good one against Texas … when (Bijan Robinson) was ruled out Monday and then the Texas (versus Kansas) game, watching how that unfolded, and then just how much I think Bijan Robinson’s injury affects Texas … is another (reason why).