West Virginia’s Running Game Woes Are 100% on Neal Brown

April 24, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown watches West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Sam Brown (17) make a catch prior to the Spring Game at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen

Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers (2-3) have one of the top – if not the top – running backs in the Big 12 Conference but somehow have the worst running game in the conference.

Redshirt senior Leddie Brown is an absolute beast.  Brown, who is on the Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award watch lists, is arguably one of the most talented offensive players in the conference, yet he only has 378 yards in five games this season.

The Mountaineers, as a team, average 116.2 running yards per game, which is dead last in the Big 12 Conference.  In fact, West Virginia is way behind the other nine teams in the conference.  Texas Tech, the team currently 9th in the conference in rushing, is averaging 144 yards per game.

Today, Brown addressed the running woes by saying, “Can we run the ball better than we have?  Yes.  If we’re more detail-oriented and do a better job with our footwork and with where our eyes are supposed to be, then we can run the ball better on a more consistent basis.  It’s not destined that we won’t be able to run the ball better than we have.”

Brown’s response is absolutely ridiculous, of course.  If he wants to figure out what’s wrong with the running game, he needs to look no further than in the mirror.

Brown’s vanilla, bland offensive scheme has way more to do with the poor rushing statistics than footwork and where their eyes are!  In addition, Brown’s stubborn decision to remain with Jarret Doege as his starting quarterback instead of Garrett Greene makes it next to impossible for his run-pass-option (RPO) offense to work.

And this isn’t new.  West Virginia has struggled to run the ball since the day Neal Brown has stepped foot on campus.  It’s time he owns this and makes the much-needed adjustments immediately.