WVU’s Brown ‘Disappointed But Not Discouraged’

After a drop, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown demonstrates proper technique

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has been through tough stretches before. At Troy, in his first year leading the program in 2015, the Trojans got off to a 1-5 start, and won just three more games the remainder of the season – none consecutively – to finish 4-8.

Brown then executed a massive turnaround, winning 31 games over the next three seasons, which positioned him for his hiring at West Virginia in 2019, where he now faces something of a similar situation, in that his team is 2-4 overall with three consecutive losses. The difference, of course, is that this rough stretch comes in his third season in charge at WVU – a dip that has a number of observers restless, to say the least. And while Brown might be able to draw some comfort from the fact that he has built programs and gotten them out of situations like this, he notes that there is not a cookie-cutter approach that works all the time that can be simply reheated and served again.

“Each situation is different, and you approach them all differently,” Brown said on Monday.  “We have to reassess and readjust. Last week was our worst performance to go along with the first half against Texas Tech, and some of that had to do with Baylor. We were not very good in any of the three phases (of play).

“We have had to overcome adversity, all of us in our coaching careers.” West Virginia’s third-year coach said of the experience of both himself and his staff in clawing out of downward arcs and losing streaks. “We are in this for the long haul. We knew this would take some time. We are disappointed but not discouraged. The bye week comes at a good time. We are out recruiting today and putting together our plan for moving forward.”

* * * * * *

Without question, the Bears were sharp, with their stars performing well. WVU did not get the same level of play from its leaders.

“Offensively (quarterback Gerry) Bohanon played extremely efficient, and schematically they did a good job getting into one on ones,” Brown said of what sparked the Bears to 525 yards of offense “They did as good a job as anybody in two years of blocking us. (Jalen) Petrie is in discussion of being best defensive player in our league, and I thought they did a nice job of matching up with us.”

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On his side, Brown had emphasized the need to get off to a good start, or at least a more enthusiastic one, after the lifeless showing in the first 30 minutes against Texas Tech.  Outside a couple of defensive plays and one drive, that didn’t happen.

“We have a tackle for no gain on first down [on a perimeter run] then we align incorrectly and miss two tackles on the next play and they take it the distance. I don’t know if you can say what went wrong there. On offense we came back and scored on the first drive, but it’s fair to say they started faster than we did, especially their offense vs. our defense.”

* * * * * *

The play of the offensive line, and additional blockers in pass protection, were also big factors in the blowout. Brown’s viewing of the game tape confirmed his thoughts from the postgame.

“We’re not playing very well up there. When you watch that game from the coaches’ copy, we have a couple of plays where we have good footwork and do our job, and then plays where we don’t,” he said. “It’s just inconsistent. Our running backs, outside of Leddie Brown, didn’t have a good day in protection either. They missed a couple, so it’s not all on the line.”

As for potential improvements? Just like the season at Troy six years ago, there are no microwave fixes.

“We are limited in the number of available bodies, so it’s not a function of playing different people,” Brown said of the offensive line. “We are playing who is capable of playing at this point. But we’re probably a year away from getting that position to the point where we feel decent about it.”


Home Page forums WVU’s Brown ‘Disappointed But Not Discouraged’

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    West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has been through tough stretches before. At Troy, in his first year heading the program in 2015, the Trojans got o
    [See the full post at: WVU’s Brown ‘Disappointed But Not Discouraged’]


    I do understand it takes time to build a team, but I would at least expect year three to be better than years one and two.


    I can understand missing assignments and blocks and such, but what concerned me was that the team played with very little heart or emotion. I don’t want to say they “laid down” because that’s a pretty damning indictment. But I saw very little fire out of anyone. Jerry West once said he hated to lose more than he liked winning. We need to see more of that out of this team. When you are getting embarrassed, you’d think that would motivate you.


    That 3 mil kinda softens the disappointment, don’t it?


    Must admit, I’m a bit discouraged at this point


    In 42 years WVU has won 9, 10 or 11 games in 14 times. That’s once every 3 seasons. Neal Brown is in his 3rd season. See 9, 10 or 11 wins in the future with Neal Brown?


    WVU 11-win seasons

    11-2 in 2007 with Bill Stewart

    11-2 in 2006 with Rich Rodriguez

    11-1 in 2005 with Rich Rodriguez

    11-1 in 1993 with Don Nehlen

    11-1 in 1998 with Don Nehlen




    WVU 10-win seasons

    10-3 in 2016 with Dana Holgerson

    10-3 in 2011 with Danna Holgerson


    WVU 9-win seasons

    9-4 in 2010 with Bill Stewart

    9-4 in 2009 with Bill Stewart

    9-4 in 2008 with Bill Stewart

    9-4 in 2002 with Rich Rodriguez

    9-3 in 1983 with Don Nehlen

    9-3 in 1982 with Don Nehlen

    9-3 in 1981 with Don Nehlen






    Some pretty big gaps in those 14 years. So your point is?


    A lot of those wins are Big East wins… Big 12 is a whole new world for WVU… and a meaner one for sure. I feel for Coach Brown. Hope he can rally his team. the seniors have to step up and lead.

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Home Page forums WVU’s Brown ‘Disappointed But Not Discouraged’

Home Page forums WVU’s Brown ‘Disappointed But Not Discouraged’