3 Must-Win Games for Neal Brown in 2023

(Photo by WVU Athletics) 

Neal Brown is in quite the tough situation going into the 2023 season. Sitting with a 22-25 record overall, every game will be important in his quest to remain employed. One slip-up against any opponent, and that may just prove to be the end of his reign in Morgantown.

While we can expect there to be tension with every matchup, there are games on the schedule that will be more vital than others. In particular, there are three games that could be the final nail in Brown’s coffin, or the shot in the arm that the program needs.

Here are the 3 MUST-WIN games for Neal Brown in 2023:

  • #1. Pitt

This one is a no-brainer. Given the historical importance of the Backyard Brawl, this will be the most important game for Brown and the Mountaineers in 2023.

West Virginia was a couple of plays away from defeating the Panthers in 2022. Had Bryce Ford-Wheaton held onto the ball, the entire season would have likely been a different story. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce WVU’s way, and they left Pittsburgh with a 38-31 loss. Pitt should take a step back in 2023. With this game being in Morgantown, it will be one WVU has to win to remain relevant.

  • #2. Houston

West Virginia will take on Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars on October 12th at TDECU Stadium. Many blame the mess the Mountaineers have found themselves in on Holgorsen’s departure from the program in January 2019. He blatantly disrespected WVU, even going as far to say that they will never compete due to recruiting difficulties.

A loss here will mean that Holgorsen was right. Neal Brown absolutely cannot let that happen.

WVU must leave Houston with a W.

  • #3. Texas Tech 

Texas Tech has had Neal Brown’s number since he arrived in Morgantown. He has went 0-4 against the Red Raiders, and the gap still seems to be significant.

This has been by far the most puzzling thorn in WVU’s side under Brown. If he wants to keep his job, he must find a way to finally get it done against Tech.

The game will be in Morgantown, so the Mountaineers will already have the advantage by default. The Red Raiders will be a dark horse favorite in 2023, so a Mountaineer win will set them up for huge things later on in the season.



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Clark Johnson is a Football Columnist for The Voice of West Virginia. He is a student at Concord University and is majoring in History with a minor in Political Science. He became a Mountaineer fan at 9-years old and has not missed a WVU football game since 2008. He is honored to bring new perspective and fresh content to the best fanbase in the nation!