MORGANTOWN, W. Va — While the West Virginia football team searches for answers to several questions around its team, one thing is sure: the JT Daniels experiment is off to a strong start.
The redshirt junior quarterback has mostly lived up to the preseason hype through two games despite his team’s two heartbreaking losses, throwing for 569 passing yards and five touchdowns with just two interceptions.
Of course, it takes two to tango in the air attack, so that means that WVU’s receivers have a combined 569 receiving yards as well. So far, the receiver corps seems happy with their new facilitator.
“We have definitely more work to do, but it’s there for sure,” said sophomore wide receiver Kaden Prather. “You guys can see that and everybody else, but the [connection] is there with all the receivers. We’re all on the same page and JT’s communication is great.”
Prather saw his workload grow in week two, making six catches to get his total up to eight on the season for 100 yards. His role in the passing game is growing, and he trusts Daniels will try to get him the ball week-in and week-out.
Daniels has established his favorite target, however: Bryce Ford-Wheaton. The duo has connected 20 times — a quarter of Daniels’s completions so far — for 249 yards and four scores in 2022.
They have also shown resiliency, bouncing back after a difficult Backyard Brawl to put up 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Kansas.
That chemistry came as no surprise to the coaching staff.
“Nobody is in this building outside of the staff than Bryce and JT, and I’m really proud of how Bryce handled the unfortunate play against Pitt,” Brown said. “He came back and all he did was work, get in work. I don’t know how many balls he caught, but it was a lot, and it showed in his performance.”
WVU’s offense remains confident despite the rocky start, and much of that credit goes to Daniels’s leadership. There have been a number of unfortunate plays over the first two games, like an untimely fumble by Prather and a drop-turned-pick-six by Ford-Wheaton.
No matter the mistake, Daniels says the same thing: “Next play.” That mentality rubs off on the rest of the unit.
“It’s big just to know that he hasn’t forgotten about you or anything. It’s big, but really the whole team. I know when I fumbled, everybody came over and patted me on the shoulder and helmet and told me, ‘Next play and everything’s going to be okay.'”