West Virginia will continue its home stand on Saturday hosting its annual FCS opponent the Towson Tigers, looking for its first win of the young season.
The Mountaineers are 0-2 to begin the 2022 season, and both games have come down to the wire. The Mountaineers dropped the Backyard Brawl to Pittsburgh 38-31 on Sept. 1 with a chance to score at the end. A week later, they fell to the Kansas Jayhawks in a 55-42 overtime defeat.
Still, head coach Neal Brown was optimistic following the Kansas’ loss, noting that the season is long and will provide him and the Mountaineers plenty of time to improve with only two games behind them so far.
“We’re two games into this, but it’s a long year,” Brown said. “We’re going to get better, we have to get better. There’s only one way to do it. We have to go back to work, and we’ll go back to work tomorrow.”
For the Tigers, it’s been a positive start to their season in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference, jumping out to a 2-0 start with a 14-13 overtime victory over Bucknell on Sept. 3 and a 29-21 win over Morgan State last Saturday.
A season ago, the Tigers finished with a 4-7, 3-5 CAA record, falling 48-21 against their only FBS opponent, the San Diego State Aztecs.
With the Mountaineers favored 95.7% to win according to ESPN.com, Towson will have a challenge in the Morgantown environment, despite the Mountaineers’ struggles to begin the year.
With kickoff set for 1 p.m. from Milan Puskar Stadium, streaming will be available on ESPN+ and U92 will be providing a radio broadcast on 91.7 FM or at u92themoose.com.
Now, here’s a look at key players to watch during Saturday’s matchup.
WVU vs. Towson: Players to watch
JT Daniels, WVU QB: Despite the loss, Daniels has shown that he is the leader for the Mountaineers offensively, going a perfect 10-of-10 with 164 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the Kansas game. He then finished passing 28-of-40 with 359 yards and three touchdowns.
Daniels continues to show up in the first two games and has displayed great accuracy and arm strength in the West Virginia offense. Look for Daniels to continue this trend and anchor the Mountaineer offense with his arm.
Tyrell Pigrome, Towson QB: The former Maryland and Western Kentucky quarterback now leads the reigns of the Towson Tigers offense but has been erratic in the passing game with only a 57% completion rate but 352 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in two games.
Pigrome also has ran for 155 yards in two games, so watch for him to make a dual threat impact on Saturday.
Devin Matthews, Towson RB: The leading rusher for the Tigers is the junior running back Matthews, recording 166 yards and two rushing scores in the first two matchups and leading the Tigers in their overtime victory over Bucknell.
As a speedy but powerful runner, the offense will revolve around this running back and provide a great test for West Virginia’s defensive front.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WVU WR: The last player to watch in Saturday’s matchup is WVU’s star receiver and Daniels’ primary target, senior receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton.
Ford-Wheaton has risen to another level to begin 2022, quickly separating himself as the first target for West Virginia, accumulating 20 catches, 249 yards and four touchdowns in only two games.
He will be slated for another big performance on Saturday against the Tigers defense and has the ability to rise to further national recognition if he continues this current trend for the remainder of the season.