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Mountaineers hungry for a win as Dukes come to city for 2023 dwelling opener

MORGANTOWN — If West Virginia’s sequence in opposition to Penn State was outdated, its sequence in opposition to Duquesne is downright historic. Whereas the Mountaineers and Nittany Lions had not performed since 192 previous to final week’s season opener, a 38-15 PSU victory, West Virginia has not performed Duquense since 1935.

That may change when the Dukes (1-0) come to Morgantown to play WVU (0-1) on Saturday evening inside Milan Puskar Stadium (6 p.m., ESPN+).

“Duquesne is a proud program, it’s a gaggle that we respect,” WVU head coach Neal Brown stated Monday. “They’ve received good gamers and so they’re native. In the event you take a look at their roster, most of their gamers are inside a  three-hour radius so that they’ll be hungry to play right here at Mountaineer Subject and we’ll get their finest shot.” 

WVU is 23-0 all-time in opposition to FCS competitors, however the Mountaineers are being cautious to not take Duquense calmly on Saturday. Not as a result of Duquesne is an FCS powerhouse, the Dukes went 4-7 final season, however as a result of WVU is aware of it wants this win.

“We’re hungry to get a win,” Brown stated. “We’re an 0-1 soccer staff till we get a win and we want a win. We’ve received an necessary three-game homestretch that begins right here with Duquesne on Saturday evening.

“The target is to win, that’s the primary goal. We’ve received to get to 1-1 and get it even.”

Duquesne started its season final week with a 49-7 win over Division-II Edbinboro. Quarterback Darius Perrantes accomplished seven passes for 135 and two touchdowns and working again Taj Butts ran 10 occasions for 108 yards.

“Offensively, the quarterback threw the deep ball very well,” Brown stated. “They’ve received two working backs which might be succesful.”

Defensively, the Dukes racked up six sacks, picked off three passes and scored a defensive landing.

“They provide you about each entrance look you may draw up after which they stress about 60% of the time,” Brown stated. “They’re going to warmth it up and so they’re going to come back in right here and never maintain a complete lot again.”

This Duquesne staff isn’t any stranger to enjoying in bigger venues. Within the final two years, the Dukes have performed at TCU, Ohio, Florida State and Hawaii. They defeated Ohio 28-26 in 2021 for this system’s first, and solely, win over and FBS staff.

“They’ve received 13 division-I transfers which have performed in these venues and performed in some of these video games earlier than, so that they’re not going to be intimidated in any respect coming in right here,” Brown stated.

For in addition to Duquesne performed final week, the expectation will probably be for WVU to haven’t any hassle in opposition to a lower-division staff. All eyes will probably be on the Mountaineers and the way they rebound from final week’s loss to the Nittany Lions.

“I really feel like studying from losses builds a staff’s character,” defensive lineman Mike Lockhart stated. “We’re down proper now, however what can we do to get again to the place we wish to be? Can I do know that, after this loss, we’ll nonetheless be going 100% in apply, nonetheless executing as if we’re going in opposition to a prime staff although we aren’t? That’s what it comes all the way down to, figuring out you’re nonetheless in it with one another.”
That is the primary of three straight dwelling video games for the Mountaineers, who will host rival Pitt subsequent week and Texas Tech the next Saturday.

“They are saying you make your greatest leap between the primary and second weeks, so I believe we’re going to make an enormous leap this week,” receiver Devin Carter stated. “We’re not glad, however we really feel like we will get issues going.”

Carter caught six passes for 90 yards in his Mountaineer debut final week, each team-highs. Carter stood out for WVU together with working again CJ Donaldson who, in his first sport since a season-ending knee harm on Oct. 1 final 12 months, ran 18 occasions for 81 yards and a landing.

“I believe that’s in all probability his finest soccer sport to date simply total,” offensive coordinator Chad Scott stated of Donaldson. “He was bodily working the soccer, by no means received tackled by the primary defender and was very bodily in move safety.”

 Ought to the sport get out of hand early, Carter, Donaldson and the first-team offense won’t see a lot motion in opposition to the Dukes.

“We want him for the entire season so we must be good with how we play him to not put on him out and maintain him contemporary,” Scott stated.

Anticipated to see enjoying time Saturday are backup quarterback Nicco Marchiol, true freshmen receivers Rodney Gallagher and Traylon Ray and freshmen working backs Jahiem White and DJ Oliver.

Cornerback Montre Miller, a switch from Kent State, will probably be out in opposition to the Dukes and will miss a number of weeks, Brown introduced on his radio present Thursday night.