West Virginia’s 329 rushing yards marked a massive improvement on the ground over last season, when they mustered just 879 for the entire season.

Coach Neal Brown wasn’t quite ready to celebrate the improvement, admitting that it was a start — but for running back Leddie Brown, it was a good payoff to a difficult 2019 and the offseason that followed.

“I’m taking everything personal this season because of last season,” the junior back said. “Ain’t nobody had faith in us coming into this season, so I’m here to prove them wrong.”

Leddie had two goals ahead of 2020: get lean, and get close with the offensive line.

Both the eye test and his stat line seem to indicate that he achieved his first goal so far. He was a nuisance for Eastern Kentucky tacklers in the opener, gaining 123 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground on just 10 attempts — amounting to an average of 12.3 yards per carry.

“I feel a little quicker,” Leddie said. “A little quicker — not like, tremendously.”

The Philadelphia native put a little more emphasis on his intangible goal — one that made a big impact on his big game on Saturday. Since the beginning of fall camp — the beginning of July, Leddie said — he made it a priority to get to know each and every one of his linemen.

“That first group of linemen did an excellent job,” he said of their performance in the season opener. “I love the fat boys, you feel me?”

Regardless of any changes to the team, Brown says this effort has made the biggest change

“I’ve been…trying to figure out what they’re doing, or what to do when it’s time to get into action,” Leddie said. “So that’s been a big stride from last year.”