Morgantown, West Virginia – Neal Brown is now 11-12 overall as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.  This is perhaps reactionary after an incredibly frustrating, embarrassing loss to Maryland, but Neal Brown absolutely lost this game by staying with Jarret Doege for the entire game.

Although Doege finished with a reasonable 24/40 for 286 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, he missed on so many opportunities and threw two of the worst interceptions in recent West Virginia football history.

Doege, who Brown called “the most improved player on the team” during the offseason, looked exactly the same as last year.  He was immobile in the pocket and inaccurate on deep and mid-range throws.  West Virginia is so limited in what they can do offensively precisely because of Brown’s infatuation with Doege as his starting quarterback.

Whatever it takes to be a successful college quarterback, Jarret Doege does not have it.  But this loss is solely and entirely on Neal Brown.

Brown’s boring, vanilla offense failed to do anything in the second half against a really, really average Maryland defense that finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten Conference last season.

Brown will likely utter “whoever turns the ball over less will get the win” over and over again in his post game comments, but it’s more than that.  When West Virginia had opportunities to move the ball, Brown continued to play not to lose rather than to win.  This has been the theme of Brown’s tenure as the head coach of the Mountaineers.

Brown’s stubbornness and lack of creativity lost West Virginia a very, very winnable game.  Brown still has yet to have a signature win at West Virginia and despite his success in the Sun Belt Conference, he hasn’t earned his ludicrous contract extension, nor has he earned the trust of West Virginia fans.

Trust the Climb?  I don’t think so, Neal.