Coming into the 2020 season, nobody was sure quite what to expect from West Virginia. The team was coming off of a 5-7 season, and posted one of the worst rushing attacks in the school’s history. Defensively, the team had shown promise in 2019, but losses were expected to take their toll. A plethora of the secondary was lost to graduation, and gone too was Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning.
The Mountaineers had more questions than answers when the season began, but that is no longer the case. West Virginia has fielded one of the best defenses in the nation, and a rushing attack that has taken a massive jump from last season. The team has been more competitive, having a chance to win virtually every single game this year.
Sitting at 5-3 overall and 4-3 in the conference, this team could just as easily have two losses – or even one. Close calls against Texas Tech and Texas on the road have been the difference. Take away a huge turnover turned touchdown against Tech, and horrible officiating against Texas, and the Mountaineers may have just came out of both matchups victorious.
What West Virginia has experienced this season is simply the rebuilding process. The team isn’t being blown out anymore as they were in 2019. Instead, they are keeping it competitive, and are coming up just short in close games. However, this will not be the case forever.
West Virginia is still a young squad, and they will continue to mature and grow. Once they finally get their feet completely under them, then they will begin to win the close games. Winning the nail-biters are the difference between a good team, and a great team. The Mountaineers are a good team right now. With just one more year under Neal Brown’s leadership, they could easily be a great team.
The foundation is being laid for The Climb in 2020. Important experience is being earned, and the team is showing they have the confidence to compete at a high-level. Falling just short is something that every team will go through early in a coaching tenure, but it lays the blueprint for better days ahead.
This team is trending in the right direction, and 2020 has been the perfect official beginning to brighter times ahead for the Mountaineers.