Neal Brown and the Mountaineers are gearing up to prove the doubters wrong this fall.
Morgantown, WV – Heading into the 2023 season, the West Virginia Mountaineers are expected to be one of the worst teams in the Big 12 Conference. At the league’s media days in mid-July, reporters covering the conference selected WVU to finish dead last in the standings. This did not set well with Head Coach Neal Brown nor his football team.
Brown wasn’t shy to voice his displeasure with the preseason poll during his eight minutes speaking with media members on July 13th.
Here is what Brown had to say about the preseason poll:
“I’m upset about the media poll. Definitely do not agree with that. The good thing is, the media, as far as predicting the Big 12, has not been successful in recent years. That bodes well for us.”
”This is why I disagree…first of all, it begins with belief in our staff and belief in our players. And then how we finish would be the next thing. We beat Oklahoma, beat Oklahoma State on the road, winning two of our last three games. Offensively, this is going to be our best group. And then we have 132 starts returning on the offensive line.”
Brown would also share his excitement for the potential of his defense coming off of a horrendous 2022 campaign.
“And defensively, we’re going to be one of the most improved units in the Big 12, if not in the country. We have all league-type players at each level, and those guys are here today – Sean Martin at defensive end, Lee Kpogba, who will be one of the leading tacklers in the conference this year at Mike linebacker, and then Aubrey Burks at safety…And we’ve added talent at secondary through the transfer portal.”
For a coach that has faced so much turmoil during his tenure in Morgantown, Neal Brown certainly doesn’t sound discouraged about his team.
He knows exactly what he has in his locker room, and expects them to make a huge jump in 2023. Any head coach that is boiling on the hot seat wouldn’t necessarily make the claims that he did during media days if he didn’t believe it to be true.
Neal Brown is betting on himself and his team heading into what On3 considers the 3rd toughest schedule in the nation – and that should have fans excited. Historically, the Mountaineers always performed their best when their backs are against the wall.
Brown and the Mountaineers are prepared to keep that trend going into 2023.
(Photo by WVU Athletics)