The Mountaineers head into their bye week as the least penalized team in the Big 12 Conference.
Morgantown, WV – What a difference a year makes. After what was arguably the worst season in recent Mountaineer Football history, Neal Brown and his team have turned their fortunes around through the first half of 2023. Using a concoction of stout defense, a good running game, and efficient special teams play, WVU looks primed to make some noise down the stretch.
While many of the defensive and offensive statistics have contributed towards West Virginia’s success, it is their lack of another statistic that has helped ignite their current four-game winning streak.
Heading into their bye week, the Mountaineers are currently the least penalized team in the Big 12 Conference and tied for the 8th-least in the nation – 18 penalties for 167 yards (per NCAA.com).
This team is simply not putting themselves at a disadvantage. Penalties, particularly in late game situations, can be absolutely detrimental. They can kill a drive, extend an opponent’s drive, and occasionally knock a team out of field goal range. So many times in the past, it has been inopportune penalties that has provided West Virginia with numbers in their loss column. Countless wrong place, wrong time mistakes have put the Mountaineers in the bottom-half of the Big 12.
That does not appear like it will be the case this year, though.
If the Mountaineers can continue this trend, there should be no doubt that they will have a chance to win every single game. Whatever Neal Brown preached to this team during the offseason worked, and it has finally led to him fielding the team that he envisioned coming into Morgantown.
When West Virginia travels to Houston next Thursday night to take on the Cougars, pay attention to the amount of laundry on the field that goes against the Mountaineers. You may just be impressed.
(Photo by WVU Athletics)