MORGOANTOWN, West Virginia — Neal Brown met with the media today and discussed West Virginia’s heartbreaking loss at Houston last Thursday night. “I’ve never experienced a loss like that before. The game should have never came down to a Hail Mary. I felt strongly about that right after the game and ever more so after watching it 4 or 5 times. It should have never came down to that, but it did.”
On whether he would have done anything differently to defend the last play of the game (like bringing 6’7 tight end Kole Taylor in to help knock the ball down), Brown was resolute, saying he felt he had the best players on the field. “We didn’t really practice it (Hail Mary converage) last week, mostly because we’ve had injuries on it. We quit using offensive guys.We kept our defensive guys out there. Our best defensive guys are our best vertical guys now anyway. The bottom line is that we didn’t execute. If I had to do anything different, we would have put on more pressure. We three man rushed it. We should have brought five, but you know, that kind of what it was.”
Brown continued, “Houston really deserved to win the game. We didn’t play very well. We played extremely poor on defense and on special teams, and it was a lot of the same guys. We lost our way. One of the reasons that we were successful during the four game win streak is because we played really disciplined football, we didn’t beat ourselves, we didn’t have a whole of penalties, we didn’t turn it over, we played extremely hard, and we were really tough on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
And those were the same reasons why we didn’t win this game. We didn’t play disciplined. We probably had 8 penalties called and 12-14 probably should have been called in the game. I thought Houston was hungrier and won on both sides of the line of scrimmage, which if that’s going to be the case, then we’re going to struggle to win any games.”