True freshman Sam Brown able to “rise to the occasion” in first start

Gold and Blue Nation

Newcomer surprises head coach in debut

Jarret Doege spread the wealth on Saturday vs. Eastern Kentucky. The starting quarterback completed passes to seven different receivers, and 10 total Mountaineers registered at least one catch.

Doege’s first pass of the game was caught by freshman Sam Brown. In his Mountaineer debut, he finished with 4 receptions for 43 yards and also made his first career start. 

“I thought he deserved the opportunity,” head coach Neal Brown said. “He played better than I thought he would really. Different people react in different ways when they are under the lime light or it’s game day, however you want to say it. Some people just rise to the occasion and that’s what he did.”

The true freshman wasn’t overly consistent during practice last week according to the head coach, but he did show some flashes during scrimmages throughout fall camp.

“Really kind of unsure how he would play. I’m confident in his abilities, just unsure. I haven’t really been in a game situation with him and he goes out and he makes two difficult catches in the first two series,” Coach Brown said. “I’m excited about him, I really am.”

The Georgia native Brown earned the nod over Sam James, the usual starter at the position and the team’s leading receiver last season. Coach Brown said that decision had to do with Brown getting more time at practice.

“Sam [James] missed some practice time, he had a little bit of an injury there,” Coach Brown said. “Sam Brown had been out there everyday of fall camp.”

Coming off the bench didn’t limit James’ production. He was WVU’s leading receiver on Saturday with 5 catches for 72 yards and one touchdown. 

Five players that registered a catch were either first or second year players.

“That young group of wideouts that we have, there’s a lot of potential there and a lot of competition,” Coach Brown said. “If we can mirror that competition in that room across our whole team, then we will be in a good situation.”

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