Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Kaden Prather provides positive in other lackluster offensive showing vs. K-State

MORGANTOWN — To pinpoint a positive for WVU’s offense in Saturday 34-17 loss at Kansas State, true freshman wide receiver Kaden Prather made his presence known during the Mountaineers’ comeback attempt in the second half.

With WVU trailing 24-3, it scored two-straight touchdowns to get within a score of the Wildcats, and on both series, quarterback Jarret Doege found a new favorite target, Prather caught four passes for 60 yards. Prather also had critical catches on 4th down on the first scoring drive, and 3rd down on the second.

“He’s going to be a player, he is,” head coach Neal Brown said. “He’s gotten better and he made some plays. One was against man coverage on 3rd down. He’s a kid who I’ve got a lot of belief in and I’m happy with how he’s maturing.”

Prather was a 4-star recruit in the 2021 class out of Germantown, Md.

“He did exactly what everybody expected him to do,” wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton said. “We have a high standard for Kaden and he did exactly what we thought he was going to do when he got the opportunity. It was a good game by him with what was really his first time being out there getting reps.”

Greene doesn’t make trip

WVU backup quarterback Garrett Greene did not make the trip to Kansas State with an upper-body injury after not practicing at all this week, and Brown said Greene is doubtful to play next week against Texas, as well.

True freshman Goose Crowder was the backup instead against the Wildcats.

While he serves primarily as the backup, Greene has rotated with Doege on certain drives and plays as a change-of-pace with his ability to run.

Also out were wide receiver Isaiah Esdale, who missed his second-straight game with a couple of upper-body injuries, and linebacker Lance Dixon, who was hurt last week against Oklahoma State. Brown said he hopes Esdale can work this week and play vs. the Longhorns, but Dixon will likely be out for a few more weeks.

Cowan ejected for targeting

In the first quarter, linebacker VanDarius Cowan lunged head-first into KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson’s helmet, prematurely ending his day with a clear targeting foul.

The penalty also wiped out an interception by Exree Loe, which would have given the Mountaineers the ball deep in Wildcats’ territory down just 7-0 at the time.

“It was a late hit on the quarterback, there is no gray area, it was late,” Brown said. “It was an interception and we were going to have the ball inside the 20, but now they have the ball and extend the drive.”

Since Cowan’s penalty happened in the first half, he is available to start next Saturday’s home game against Texas.