Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Neal Brown Still Has Faith in Jarret Doege

During his weekly radio show on Thursday evening, WVU Head Coach Neal Brown had the opportunity to speak about Mountaineer Quarterback Jarret Doege.   While his stats may not indicate so, Doege has had a rough first two Big 12 games. He has thrown for 496 yards, two touchdowns against two interceptions, and has completed 63% of his passes. In these games, however, the offense has only scored 14 in regulation against the Baylor Bears, and 13 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The unit has for the most part sputtered, and it is mostly due to an inconsistent passing game.   Brown would claim that Doege doesn’t necessarily have any issues right now, but that he just needs to “go out there and play.” Self-inflicted stress is the main contributor Neal Brown listed for the Bowling Green transfer’s struggles. He has simply put too much on his own shoulders, and he just needs to go out there and compete.   Brown would reiterate his faith in Doege, claiming that his “breakout game is coming.” He does not know when, but he certainly hopes it will be this week against the Kansas Jayhawks. It is still early in the season, and Doege has plenty of time to turn his fortunes around. He is the answer at quarterback right now, and Coach Brown believes so, as well.

Texas Tech Has Quietly Become the New Iowa State

Nobody in the Big 12 is nearly as bad as Kansas - not even close. However, this does not mean that there will not be other bad teams in the league. For the longest time, Iowa State was that team that would finish just above last place in the conference. Their one for certain conference win was against Kansas, but they would always find a way to pull out one or two more wins along the way. Now the Cyclones are historically good under Head Coach Matt Campbell, meaning that there must be a new team to take their cellar-dweller spot. This team is the Texas Tech Red Raiders.   Coming into 2020 the expectations were low for the Red Raiders. Many outlets picked them to finish 9th out of 10th in the conference, just above Kansas - and it appears they are well on their way to finishing in that position. They are currently 1-3, and in the midst of a three-game losing streak. They are also winless in Big 12 play, and have lost seven-straight conference games dating back to 2019. The program has a consistent revolving door at quarterback, and their defense is annually one of the worst in the conference. While the average fan may think new head coach Matt Wells has been the reason for the struggles, the Red Raiders have actually been bad for the better half of the last decade.   The program has had four-straight losing seasons dating back to 2016. In only one of those seasons were they able to make a bowl game, but they would lose to the South Florida Bulls, 38-34, in the Birmingham Bowl. They even wasted the talent of the great Patrick Mahomes II who is well on his way to becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. The Red Raiders program just has not been the same since the departure of Mike Leach all the way back in 2009. For this, they are earning their spot as one of the most overlooked programs in the conference.   Comparing Texas Tech to the old Iowa State, there are a lot of similarities. Both programs occasionally break through and make a bowl game. They also have a lot of talent on the field, but never produce with it. If you were to look up the word "mediocre" in a dictionary, the logo of either one of these teams could be used as the definition. So what is it going to take for Texas Tech to finally break the routine and become relevant again in the Big 12?   The answer is not a simple one, but it begins with finding the right head coach to lead your program. Iowa State struck gold when Matt Campbell left Toledo to take over their program. Hell, here we are five seasons later and he has won against the Oklahoma Sooners twice. Campbell is a terrific coach, and has officially turned the tides at Iowa State and set them up for future success. Texas Tech's Matt Wells just isn't this guy.   Even at Utah State his record was mediocre, and he is bringing the same "meh" play with him to Lubbock. He currently sits with a 5-11 record, and it doesn't appear that it will be getting any better soon. It is a harsh prediction, but sometime in the next year or so Wells will likely be unemployed, and this will be viewed as one of the worst hires in program history. It is then that this athletic department must buckle down and bring the right guy in to lead the Red Raiders. If not, we could see yet another mediocre five to ten year run for this program.   When West Virginia travels to Lubbock this weekend, they will be getting the absolute best from the Red Raiders because everyone within the program knows this. They know that the trajectory of the program likely lies within the four quarters they will have against the Mountaineers. Win, and they may be able to get this thing turned around. Lose, and well, same old, same old.   Texas Tech being good is good for the Big 12, and even as rival fans within the conference, we should be rooting for this team to finally get things turned around. An old Iowa State doesn't look good on anyone's resume, and neither does a current Texas Tech.   However, let's just hope they get things straightened out after the Old Gold and Blue leave Jones AT&T Stadium with a win this Saturday.

West Virginia’s Clear Path to the Big 12 Championship Game

Morgantown, West Virginia - In all of the weirdness of 2020 and this college football season, the West Virginia Mountaineers hold their destiny in their very own hands and, surprisingly, shockingly, a very clear path to the Big 12 Championship on December 5th at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. With traditional powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas sitting at 2-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play, the door is wide open for a team like West Virginia to sneak into the conference championship.  In addition, the Kansas State Wildcats, who are undefeated at 3-0 in conference play, lost its team leader and senior captain, quarterback Skylar Thompson to injury today. Currently, the Mountaineers sit in 4th place in the conference behind Iowa State (3-0), Kansas State (3-0) and Oklahoma State (2-0) and just ahead of Baylor (1-1, WVU holds the tie-breaker). West Virginia's next three games are the key, are all very winnable and will likely decide the fate of the season for the Mountaineers. West Virginia's home game against basement-dweller Kansas Jayhawks should be an automatic win, which would put the Mountaineers at 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The following week, West Virginia travels to Lubbock, Texas to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are currently 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12.  Although Texas Tech is not a very good team this season, winning in Lubbock is always a chore.  However, the Mountaineers will likely be a favorite here and should get a tough win on the road. The Mountaineers then return home on Halloween to play the Kansas State Wildcats.  Potentially sitting at 4-1 and 3-1 in the conference, and now almost certainly ranked in the Top 25, West Virginia will be fired up for a season-defining game and a huge step towards making it to the conference championship.  If this is a night game on Halloween with a full, sell-out crowd in attendance, is there any way the Mountaineers lose this game? Now at 5-1 and 4-1 in the conference, West Virginia will have Texas on the road, TCU and Oklahoma at home, and then a blockbuster finale on the road against Iowa State.  What seemed like a 5-5 season prior to the first game, now feels more like a 7-3 or 8-2 season and a real shot at a berth to the Big 12 Championship game. A lot has to go right for the Mountaineers, and a lot wrong for its opponents (and a lot already has gone wrong), but the door is open, the path is cleared and West Virginia could do the impossible, the unthinkable in Year Two of Neal Brown's tenure in Morgantown. Go ahead and book your tickets to Dallas, West Virginia fans, this is the year.

The Case for Matt Rhule

This morning, the Carolina Panthers officially cut ties with head coach Matt Rhule. Over the course of his time in Carolina, Rhule compiled an 11-27 record. In the big leagues, that’s just not going to get it done Now that Rhule is unemployed, the prospect of him returning to the college game is legitimate. After all, Rhule found great success at both Temple and Baylor. He has shown that he can put together great seasons in the Big 12, leading the Bears to a Big 12 Championship in 2019. One team that could possibly be looking for a head coach soon is our very own Mountaineers. If things continue to fall off the tracks for Neal Brown, then Rhule could potentially be a replacement for him. If we’re being honest, WVU would be a fool not to consider him. His success at Baylor says it all for him. He knows how to win in the Big 12, and do it quickly. He took the Bears from a 1-11 record his first season to a Big 12 Championship appearance in 2019. That’s very impressive considering the horrible shape the Bears were left in after Art Briles. West Virginia is not lacking talent either. They have the pieces to where Rhule can come in and be successful immediately, that is if they stick around. The case for Matt Rhule is simple and clear. If West Virginia can lure him in should they separate from Neal Brown, then this should be a no-brainer. However, only time will tell.

Draft Kings: “Neal Brown Looking for a New Job in 2024”

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Draft Kings' Chinmay Vaidya released his "Hot Seat Week 2" list yesterday and unsurprisingly West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was front and center on the list. According to Vaidya, "Neal Brown has a permanent position in this column until he is gone." Brown, who is currently 23-26 overall and 14-21 in the Big 12 Conference in his 5th season with the Mountaineers, was on the hot seat all last season and remained there to begin this season. "Barring a scenario where West Virginia wins the Big 12, he is effectively gone at the end of the year," Vaidya said of Brown. "The Backyard Brawl is a chance to provide some relief but Brown is going to be looking for a new job in 2024." West Virginia plays Pitt this Saturday, September 16, and will play Texas Tech the following Saturday at home. These two games have been circled on the calendar as the two games that could potentially decide Neal Brown's future. If the Mountaineers lose one or both of the games, Brown could be in major trouble. If they win, he could buy himself more time on the West Virginia sideline.

Ranking WVU’s 2021 Victories

While the 2021 Mountaineer Football season was far from a success, there were some highs to counteract the lows of a 6-7 season. Today, we are going to take a look back at the six victories for WVU last season and rank them based on their importance to the season and the excitement of the game overall.   Here are the six WVU victories from 2021 ranked from worst to first: 6. September 11: vs LIU (W 66-0) Though this was a fun game to attend, the blowout victory was still against one of the worst teams on the FCS level. West Virginia dominated, literally from the opening kickoff return by Winston Wright. In terms of importance, this will not be a win that Mountaineer Nation remembers for years to come, if they even remember it at all.   5. November 20: vs Texas (W 31-23) This one may shock some folks, but Texas was really bad last season. They lost to Kansas...the 2-10 Kansas Jayhawks for goodness sakes. It is always fun to run over the Longhorns and flash a Horns Down or two, BUT last year's game will not go down as an all-time between matchup between the schools, mostly because of the dumpster fire that is going on in Austin, Texas right now.   4. October 23: at TCU (W 29-17) The rest of the games on this list did carry a significant weight of importance. The late October victory against the Horned Frogs really kept WVU's season from going completely off of the rails. Had the Mountaineers not picked up the win in Fort Worth, it's hard to tell how things would have played out in Morgantown. So this one was really the statement course correction for the 2021 campaign.   3. November 27: at Kansas (W 34-28) Yes, it may have been Kansas, but this win got the Mountaineers to the postseason. A season finale loss to the Jayhawks would have really put a dark cloud over the WVU program. We can only imagine the outrage from fans had this one went the other way. So for that, this one checks-in higher on our list than lit generally would in years past.   2. October 30: vs Iowa State (W 38-31) This was arguably the biggest surprise of the season. With how much the Mountaineer offense was struggling, they really did put on a show against one of the better defenses that the Big 12 has to offer. Jarret Doege had the best performance of his Mountaineer career, and the receivers were equally as effective. We saw glimpses of what West Virginia could be under Neal Brown if they can get all of the parts moving in the right direction. This game could be looked at as the foundation for what is to come in Morgantown.   September 18: vs Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (W 27-21) Neal Brown may have lost his first traditional rival game to Maryland, but he certainly made up for it with a win over the Hokies. It took a last second goal line stand by the defense, but the team got the job done. For all of those in attendance, this will be a game that they will remember for years and years to come.

WVU Should Wear Military Appreciation Helmets Again This Weekend

This Saturday, Military Appreciation Day will be celebrated at Milan Puskar Stadium when the Mountaineers face the TCU Horned Frogs. Last season, this day took place on November 9, 2019, when WVU faced the Texas Tech Red Raiders. In honor of this day, the Mountaineers wore a special helmet to show appreciation to the men and women who serve and are currently serving our country.   This Saturday, when the Mountaineers take the field, they should once again wear a special helmet in honor of Veteran's Day and Military Appreciation Day. The men and women serving our country deserve to be honored every chance given. A slight change-up to the decal on the helmet is the least the Mountaineers can do to display their appreciation.   The Mountaineers reveal their uniforms on Thursday evening during Neal Brown's weekly show. Check back in to The Voice of Motown as we will be reporting the team's uniform combination as soon as it is revealed, as well as any special changes to the helmet.

Koenning Place on Administrative Leave

West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has been placed on "administrative leave" following Kerry Martin Jr.'s comments on Twitter today. Martin said in his Twitter comments today that many players, himself included, do not feel comfortable around Koenning.  In addition, Martin accused the coach of racial comments and inappropriate remarks towards players. West Virginia Athletic Director responded by saying, "I want to thank Kerry Martin for having the courage to bring his concerns to light.  We will not tolerate any form of racism, discrimination or bias on our campus.  Coach Vic Koenning has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately, and the department will work with the appropriate parties to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations.  This is serious, and we will act appropriately and in the best interests of our student-athletes." Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for more information as it becomes available.

WVU Ranked 3rd Best Football Program Without National Championship

In a recent ranking released by Bleacher Report, the West Virginia Mountaineer Football program was rated the 3rd best program to have never won a National Championship. Out of the teams ranked, the Mountaineers have the most all-time wins. Among the other teams ranked were Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Oregon.

Big News Coming to West Virginia Football Today?

Cover Photo: Tyler Prusina, Photographer Morgantown, West Virginia - Today at 3:33PM could be a huge turning point in the future of West Virginia football. That's when former four star linebacker Amari Gainer announces his transfer commitment. Gainer, the active leader for the Florida State Seminoles with 210 career tackles, is set to decide between West Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama, who has made a late push for the talented linebacker. Neal Brown visited Gainer at his home in Tallahassee and Gainer followed that up with an official visit to Morgantown weeks later. Gainer has also visited Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but all indications appear that West Virginia is the choice at 3:33 this afternoon. Gainer was a high school teammate of West Virginia quarterback Garrett Greene at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, Florida, and Greene posted the following message on social media to his former teammate: "Let's run it back!" Gainer is not only an outstanding player on the field, he's also a very respected veteran who would add an immediate presence in the West Virginia locker room. The Mountaineers desperately need a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and Gainer would be the absolute perfect addition to the West Virginia defense. Stay tuned at 3:33PM this afternoon! There's a very good chance that the Mountaineers will get a whole lot better today!

WVU Defensive Lineman Enters Transfer Portal

According to Carl Reed of 247Sports, WVU Defensive Lineman Lanell Carr has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. Carr, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, tallied 21 tackles and one sack during the 2022 season. He was a 247Sports three-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. The Missouri native held 21 total offers coming out of high school including Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and Louisville among others.

Offense vs. Defense Last Season And This Season

  Morgantown, West Virginia - This year, the Mountaineer's offense has drastically improved from last season. WVU averages 38.7 points per game, has 271 passing yards per game, and 191.3 rushing yards per game. Compared to last year, that is a complete 180. Last year, WVU only averaged around 25.2 points per game (Almost 14 points less than this year), which was one of the worst in all of College Football last season. Somehow, the number of yards per game rushing and passing was very similar with 247.9 yards passing and 123.2 yards rushing per game. Again, those stats have been improved by at least 30 yards per game on both passing and rushing, but what makes this metric more interesting is that WVU has a much higher completion rate, and has a firm belief in both the run and the pass. Something that WVU has NOT had under Neal Brown his tenure in Morgantown. As for the defense, it has taken a MAJOR step back. Many fans and experts alike thought that WVU would take a small step back on defense, but certainly not the nosedive it has so far. Last year, WVU only gave up 23.8 PPG to their opponents which was 45th in the country. This year, it gives up 31.3 PPG, which is 104th. That is near the bottom of the barrel with there only being 131 FBS teams in College Football. That, along with giving up big explosive plays on most drives against every team they have played this season (minus Virginia Tech and Towson), has cost them games this season. Now, I know what you are thinking, "but the defense won us the game against Baylor!". This is true in the fact that the scoop and score late in the second quarter kept WVU in the game and came up clutch after Daniels threw a potentially game-changing interception with a little over three minutes to go in the game, but WVU was still giving up explosive plays on almost EVERY possession. It seems like the defense gave up big 30+ yard bursts multiple times on most possessions, and this isn't anything new. This happened during the Kansas game (which allowed them to take the lead and end up winning), the Texas game (where we got so far behind that our offense couldn't even keep up), and the Pitt game (where explosive drives kept them in the game and let them tie the game up after that dumb decision not to go for it on fourth and inches) There is still PLENTY of football to be played this season and the defense looked better this week (despite giving up 40 points). If they can start to create more turnovers as they did against Baylor, a 7 or 8-win season (even though it's very unlikely), is still in the realm of possibility for the Mountaineers.

West Virginia Virginia Tech GAMEDAY PREDICTION

Blacksburg, Virginia - The West Virginia Mountaineers (1-2) travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to play rival Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1) in the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy tonight. The Mountaineers, who are currently a 2.5 point favorite on the road, have lost on the road against Pitt and at home against Kansas, and have only beaten Towson. Virginia Tech lost their home opener to Old Dominion, then beat Boston College in the second week and Wofford last Saturday. This matchup will ultimately come down to West Virginia's much-improved offense led by JT Daniels, Bryce Ford-Wheaton and CJ Donaldson against the Hokie's outstanding defense. Virginia Tech ranks third in the country in rushing defense (42 yards per game), 5th in total defense (201 yards per game) and in the top 20 in scoring defense, allowing just 12.33 points per game. Although West Virginia is a far more talented, complete team right now, winning in Blacksburg at Lane Stadium at night in a rivalry game is extremely challenging. In addition, nothing Neal Brown has done since arriving at West Virginia has given me any confidence to think that he could go into such a hostile environment and win this game. In fact, it's just the opposite. Brown has proven that he's not a great game manager, that he gets far too cautious in very important moments, and that he doesn't win really meaningful, close games. With that said, this game could really go either way. West Virginia has the talent, but they also have Neal Brown as their head coach. Virginia Tech is not a very talented team, but they have one of the most intimidating environments in college sports, particularly at night in a big rivalry game. Prediction: Great defense, lots of mistakes/turnovers and more heartbreak for the Mountaineers. Neal Brown's seat is on fire after this one. Virginia Tech 24 West Virginia 14

Will Grier Could Start This Week for the Panthers

Last Sunday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a sprained MCL in the team's 46-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.   Due to this, the Panthers are now left with a dilemma - who should they start if Bridgewater is unable to go? They currently have two options, former XFL star P.J. Walker, or former Mountaineer Will Grier.   Head Coach Matt Rhule did not lean either way when discussing the quarterbacks during his weekly press conference. However, he would elaborate on Will Grier, and his thoughts on the beloved West Virginia great, per the team's site.   "Will has deserved the chance to play," Rhule began. "He's practiced really well and prepared really well. We could go the whole year with Will not getting in the game, and I would know exactly what we have with him because I see it day in and day out."   Though Rhule gave Grier praise, it sounds like he may be hesitant to turn him loose on the field. With his comments, the confidence seems to be lacking with Grier in there at signal-caller, giving the impression that if Bridgewater is unable to go, then it will be Walker taking the reigns of the offense.   It remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if Grier is once again looked over in the Panthers' quarterback room.   Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates.

REPORT: Tom Herman May Be Fired if Longhorns Lose to Cowboys

Tom Herman is reportedly not just approaching the hot seat, but he may already be sitting on it. The Longhorns have disappointed this season, mostly due to defense or a lack thereof. Texas currently sits at 3-2 and 2-2 in conference play for the season - not exactly meeting expectations in Austin.   Herman's Longhorns are going into Stillwater this weekend as a +3.5 point underdog to Oklahoma State, according to FanDuel. While this may just seem like another matchup for Texas, there is actually a lot at stake here for Herman.   In an article by Jeff Howe of 247Sports, it is reported that College Football analyst for CBS, Brian Jones, has inside information on Tom Herman's future with the potential loss to the Cowboys.   During an interview with Chad Hastings of 104.9 FM in Austin, Jones was asked if Herman could potential be relieved of his duties with a loss to the Cowboys.   Jones responded, "Yes, it could happen that quickly. I'm hearing it is going to happen that quickly." Not exactly inspiring words for Herman at this point in time.   Should this decision be made if the Longhorns lose to Oklahoma State, Texas will be with an interim coach when the Mountaineers visit Austin the following weekend.   The entire story by Jeff Howe and 247Sports can be found at the link below.