Two West Virginia running backs, CJ Donaldson and Jahiem White, had been struggling to perform at their best during the season. Donaldson, who had a breakout freshman campaign last year, had not run for more than 70 yards in four consecutive games. White, a talented freshman, had only managed 73 yards in the previous five games combined due to bad practice habits. However, things changed for the better when the team played against UCF last Saturday. Donaldson rushed for a season-high 121 yards, including big plays of 21 and 32 yards. White also had his best game, finishing with 85 rushing yards and runs of 11, 19, and 32 yards.
The team sent a message to Donaldson by benching him at the start of the game. Offensive coordinator Chad Scott stated that it was a message to Donaldson, and he responded positively. Donaldson acknowledged that he needed a reality check and understood that he wasn’t being productive for the team. White, on the other hand, had his best week of preparation with Scott becoming his shadow during practice, ensuring he did everything right. Scott was proud of White’s discipline and planned to continue supporting him throughout the season.
Despite the struggles of Donaldson and White, WVU’s rushing game remained consistent. The Mountaineers currently lead the nation with 11 consecutive games of rushing for at least 140 yards. Head coach Neal Brown acknowledged the importance of this stat and emphasized the need to maintain it. The last time WVU failed to gain 140 yards was nearly a year ago against Iowa State. Brown credited the success to the entire team, including the offensive line, quarterbacks, and running backs who have all contributed to the rushing game.
Over the past 11 games, multiple players have led the team in rushing, including Donaldson, White, and backup quarterback Nicco Marchiol. This demonstrates the depth and versatility of WVU’s running back position. Ultimately, the team’s success in the rushing game is a result of everyone’s contributions.
In conclusion, Donaldson and White responded to the wake-up call and had their best performances of the season against UCF. The team’s decision to bench Donaldson and Scott’s guidance for White played a significant role in their improved performances. WVU’s rushing game has remained consistent throughout the season, and the team aims to continue this success. The collective effort of the offensive line, quarterbacks, and running backs has contributed to their dominant rushing performance.
Original Story at www.dominionpost.com – 2023-11-02 18:59:08