Morgantown, West Virginia – One of Neal Brown’s best friends in the whole world is Matt Moore, who happens to be the the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Moore, who coached with Brown at Troy and at Texas Tech, followed him to West Virginia when he became the head coach in 2019.
Since arriving in Morgantown, the Mountaineers’ offensive line has been questionable at best. Last season, West Virginia finished 105th in the nation in rushing yards per game, averaging only 116.9 yards, despite having outstanding senior running back Leddie Brown on the team.
This season, with the entire starting offensive line returning, there can be no excuses for poor play. Zach Frazier is one of the top centers in the Big 12, if not all of college football. Left tackle Wyatt Milum is one of the highest rated recruits in West Virginia history. Doug Nester is a former four star recruit who was a preseason All Big 12 first team member. James Gmiter is a talented veteran on the line who has played in 33 games and started 25 during his career. Brandon Yates and Ja’Quay Hubbard are experienced players who round out the highly-touted offensive line.
Prior to the season, the leader of the offensive line, Zach Frazier, said that his group would be the strength of the team: “A couple years ago, that was probably our weakness, our offensive line,” Frazier said. “I think we’ve grown every year. Going into this year, we have every single person back, so we’re just trying to build on top of that. That’s really one of our main strengths, our experience upfront.”
And yet, in the first two games (both losses) and even against Towson in the third game, West Virginia’s offensive line continued to look…average, mediocre. There have been numerous penalties from the offensive line that shouldn’t be expected from this group. The run blocking has okay, but JT Daniels has faced pressure when he drops back far too often.
With all the experience and talent on the line, being average is unacceptable. It’s shocking that Moore remained with the team after three previous years of mediocrity, but if things don’t change on the offensive line fast, Neutered Neal may have to be forced to make his first change on his coaching staff by firing his best buddy Matt Moore before the season ends.