116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — West Virginia hasn’t had the 2021 football season many expected.
The Mountaineers were supposed to take a big jump in Coach Neal Brown’s third season as football coach, but it turned into another up-and-down year.
West Virginia is 1-3 in the Big 12 Conference with losses to Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech. The lone win came against TCU. Despite the disappointing season up to this point, West Virginia has plenty of players playing at a high level.
Here are five players to watch Saturday when Iowa State comes to Morgantown, W.Va.
QB Jarrett Doege
Jarrett Doege leads the Big 12 in passing yards per game with 243.
Some of that can be explained by West Virginia consistently finding itself behind in games and needing to lean on Doege’s arm.
Doege is eighth in the Big 12 in passing efficiency and has thrown five interceptions compared to eight touchdowns. He’s also completed 66 percent of his passes, which is a respectable number but is middle of the road in the Big 12.
Where Doege really falls short, however, is with his mobility. Doege has rushed for minus-65 yards, mostly due to sacks.
LB Josh Chandler-Semedo
Josh Chandler-Semedo has been all over the field for the Mountaineers’ defense.
The senior leads West Virginia with 60 tackles and is second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State’s Malcolm Rodriguez.
To add to his impressive tackling numbers, Chandler-Semedo has 2.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
DL Dante Stills
Dante Stills' other half, older brother Darius Stills, is off to the NFL, leaving Dante without his pass-rushing partner. The two wreaked havoc in offensive backfields for two seasons but now Dante is doing the work himself, and thriving.
Stills is tied for third in the Big 12 in sacks with five and he’s second in the Big 12 in tackles for loss with nine, meaning over half of his 17 tackles have been for a loss.
RB Leddie Brown
Leddie Brown’s rushing numbers aren’t gaudy — he’s rushed for 533 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry — but he’s a workhorse for the Mountaineers, especially near the goal line.
Brown is fourth in the Big 12 with nine rushing touchdowns.
The senior also is a threat out of the backfield in the passing game. Brown is fifth on the team in receptions with 18 for 130 yards and a touchdown.
WR Winston Wright
Winston Wright has picked up where he left off last season when he was a second-team All-Big 12 selection.
Wright leads West Virginia with 36 receptions for 423 yards. He’s also been impressive in the return game. Wright has returned 16 kicks for 475 yards and a touchdown.