West Virginia University running back Leddie Brown’s 104-yard rushing day was one of the few bright spots in the Mountaineers’ 27-13 loss to No. 15 Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Oklahoma. What Brown was able to do Saturday — and in the Mountaineers’ first two games of the season — haven’t been done by WVU running back since the team’s last 1,000-yard rusher.
Saturday was Brown’s fourth career 100-yard game with WVU and his second straight. He became the first Mountaineer runner to earn back-to-back 100-yard games since Justin Crawford completed the feat in 2017, rushing for 102 yards against Iowa State and 113 yards against Kansas State.
Brown also matched Crawford in another back-to-back milestone. He became the first WVU runner to gain at least 100 yards in the first two games of the year since Crawford did it in the first two games of 2017. He rushed for 106 yards against Virginia Tech and 118 yards against East Carolina.
Brown’s 26 carries were a career high and the most by any WVU running back since Crawford recorded 28 carries against Baylor in 2016.
Crawford’s 2,237 yards over two seasons puts him at No. 11 on the Mountaineers’ career rushing list.
The Bonamico family wasn’t about to let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from supporting senior safety Dante in what could be his final season in a Mountaineer uniform. While the Bridgeport native could come back for another year in 2021 due to the stoppage of fall sports’ eligibility clocks, his family, including brothers Anthony and Nunzio, were determined to be in attendance as much as possible.
Anthony, who played at West Virginia Wesleyan, understands the importance of having support nearby, even when it can’t be directly in person. Typically on road trips, family members can meet with their sons on the night before the game and briefly afterward, but that has ceased due to the demands of protection from COVID-19 transmission.
“We still had a Zoom talk with him on Friday night, and we saw the buses come in today,” Nunzio said. “We want to make sure we make our voices heard.”
Kicker Evan Staley’s first field goals of the season solidified his spot in the WVU record books. Staley booted field goals of 26 and 30 yards against the Cowboys on Saturday. He has 35 made field goals for his WVU career, which ranks seventh on the all-time list.
Staley has some work to do to move up the list. No. 6 is Tyler Bitancurt, who made 50 field goals in his Mountaineer career.
Among the firsts in Saturday’s game: Offensive lineman Junior Uzebu and linebacker Tony Fields made the first starts of their WVU careers. Fields’ interception in the third quarter was his first as a Mountaineer. Winston Wright made his first touchdown catch of his WVU career, a 70-yarder that was the longest touchdown since George Campbell’s 83-yard touchdown catch last season against Baylor. Wright also was the first 100-yard receiver of the season, finishing with 103 yards on four catches.