Each week WVSports.com Managing Editor Keenan Cummings provides a look at some of the things that stood out to him during the course of the game and on the stat sheet.
These observations are a snap shot of what unfolded in the West Virginia 48-31 loss to Kansas State and what could happen next for the Mountaineers.
–Well, the dream, however fleeting it was, is over. West Virginia isn’t going to a bowl game in year four under head coach Neal Brown and there is no other way to slice it but this season is a major disappointment all the way around. The Mountaineers are now 21-25 under Brown atop the program and have still never managed a three-game winning streak or have been ranked during the entire tenure. That seems hard to do that deep into a tenure, but that is where we find ourselves and after doubling down on his team’s ability to turn things around and the demise of his football program was overstated the Mountaineers have gone 2-5. That isn’t going to cut it anywhere, but especially with a fan base that has been plenty patient. I didn’t see this team quit at any point in this game, but it was clear they didn’t have the ability to compete in this one without some breaks. The two head coaches in this game were hired at the same time and the programs are heading in entirely different directions. The Mountaineers have missed a bowl game three times in the last 21 seasons and Brown was the head coach for two of those. Take that how you will but it’s hard to see what unfolded this season and the tenure as a whole as net positive right now.
–Only 11 times before as a wide receiver finished with over 100 yards and 3 touchdown catches in the same game. The last to do it was David Sills against Baylor in 2017 and in total only seven other players in school history are on that list that includes Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Bradley Starks, Cedric Thomas, Dick Rader and Herbert Barna. James has been a bright spot for the Mountaineers down the stretch and is really showcasing his speed with the ability to get open down the field. James is the first player since 1965 with all of his catches resulting in touchdowns and going over 100+ yards. He even completed a 12-yard pass!