Morgantown, West Virginia – Following tomorrow’s huge game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Virginia Tech Hokies, Neal Brown will either be an entire state’s hero or a coach who is slowly losing the trust of a passionate fanbase that demands results.
This is Neal Brown’s defining moment in his career. If they Mountaineers beat their #15 ranked rival, Brown will finally have his signature win at West Virginia. So far, Brown’s most impressive wins have been at home against #16 Kansas State without their starting quarterback and unranked Army in the Liberty Bowl last season.
If West Virginia loses, the Mountaineers will drop to 1-2 with a road game against the Oklahoma Sooners looming next weekend. A 1-3 start with a tough Big 12 Conference schedule ahead would be a disastrous start for West Virginia and Brown would almost certainly start to hear it from the fans.
Brown’s “Trust the Climb” is already tiresome and patience is running thin in Morgantown. Make no mistake about it, beating Virginia Tech is always important but this game is in must-win territory.
Although Brown has the support of the fanbase right now, two losses in a row would send that support spiraling, particularly if the Mountaineers lose without redshirt freshman Garrett Greene getting any snaps.
Brown’s insistence on sticking with senior quarterback Jarret Doege could end up being his worst mistake. Doege has not proven to be a quarterback capable of leading the Mountaineers to a big victory yet and Greene showed last week that he adds an entirely new dimension to the West Virginia offense.
Doege laying another egg would be monumentally catastrophic for the Mountaineers football program and for Neal Brown. Brown has put his unwavering trust in Doege and he needs Doege to show up in a big way.
This game will go down as the moment in Neal Brown’s career at West Virginia where he got his first big win and turned it all around, or the moment where he completely lost the trust of the West Virginia fans.