MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – After four seasons of putrid, mediocre, watered-down version of West Virginia Football, the Mountaineers finally have their swagger back.
It took four years, but Neal Brown appears to have his program on track to be successful this season and in particular next season. If West Virginia can manage to walk into Norman, Oklahoma as 13 points underdogs and find a way to upset the mighty and angry (after two consecutive losses) Oklahoma Sooners, the Mountaineers will move to 7-3 and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference in a season that they were predicted to do nothing. Remember, West Virginia was predicted to finish dead last in the conference and no one would have predicted that they would be there after ten games.
Down Year in the Big 12?
The Big 12 is absolutely going through a down year. In addition, West Virginia will not play four of the best teams in the conference – Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State – this season and they had the luxury of playing all of the four newcomers in the conference (Houston, UCF, BYU and Cincinnati), all of which have proven to be not quite ready to be competitive at the Power 5 level
The Mountaineers BELIEVE .
With that said, it’s clear that West Virginia’s roster believes. They came into this season with a chip on their shoulders and they’ve played with a level of toughness and confidence that previous Neal Brown teams have lacked. Following West Virginia’s dominant victory over BYU, Brown seemed to finally feel that his team put together a complete effort: ““It felt like the last two weeks, we have played what we call ‘good football,’” he said. “Today was probably our most complete game where we played good in all three phases.”
Players and Coaches Have Exceeded Expectations
A lot of this has to do with the emergence of starting quarterback Garrett Greene, who is the undisputed leader and face of the program right now. His confidence and swagger is contagious and he’s the type of player that the whole team can rally around. But it’s more than just Greene; the Mountaineers’ defense has been shockingly superb, the offensive line has lived up to expectations and the running back corps has been outstanding. In addition, Neal Brown’s play-calling has been far better and more creative than it was previously. With a talented group offensively and Neal Brown making the right calls, the Mountaineers have gone from one of the easiest teams to defend in the conference in 2022 to one of the most challenging to prepare for this year.