What a wild two weeks it has been for the West Virginia Mountaineers. After going into their bye week with a 2-4 record, and on a three-game losing streak, Neal Brown and company have bounced back to win two in a row to even their record at 4-4. While the 29-17 victory over TCU probably appeared suspect, mostly due to the Horned Frogs’ poor defense, this weekend may have really told the tale on this team.
WVU was able to knock off the 22nd-ranked Iowa State Cyclones in Morgantown by a final score of 38-31. This wasn’t your usual Cyclones team, either. Yes, they may have came into the game with a 5-2 record, but this is arguably their most talented team in school history. They came into the season with hopes of making the College Football Playoff, beginning 2021 in the AP Top 10. Breece Hall and Brock Purdy both were considered Heisman Trophy contenders, and Matt Campbell was the hot name for every big job that was expected to come open this season. This is just unheard of in Ames, Iowa.
This was no easy win for West Virginia, but it proved a lot to me as a fan. Several Mountaineer fans have been down on Neal Brown as of late. With how much the team struggled in the first half of the season, it was hard to be anything but negative, honestly. But with Saturday’s victory, and the tremendous bounce back of this team, Head Coach Neal Brown has proven to Mountaineer Nation his worth, and just what kind of coach he is.
The team could have easily thrown in the towel on the season following the rough start, but they have done the exact opposite. They have tightened down, and are playing their best football of the season. This success must be attributed to the coaching staff and Neal Brown.
In his third season with the Mountaineers, the last two weeks have been his best coaching job by far. To pull a team team that seems to be spiraling out of control from the depths of hell is no easy task. This would even be difficult for a guy like Nick Saban. This kind of coaching is what the Mountaineers brought Neal Brown here for. They knew he was a guy that could do more with less, just based on his years at Troy. And what is he doing now? He is making lemonade out of the lemons that the 2021 season gave him early on.
This is why I have been preaching to just breathe from the beginning. The Climb was never going to happen overnight, but it is happening right in front of our eyes. Things will get better and a lot more fun in Morgantown, we just have to enjoy the ride on the way there.
We have a coach that will get us there. I trust what Neal Brown is doing with our Mountaineers.