Morgantown, West Virginia – Through three seasons at West Virginia, Neal Brown has a 17-18 overall record and an 11-15 record in the Big 12 Conference. Regardless of the challenges that he’s faced, that is not acceptable as the head coach of the Mountaineers.
In his 4th season, West Virginia must show real progress and growth, and that means 7 or 8 wins and a bowl victory. Anything less is stagnation or regression.
Having said that, here is a breakdown and projection for each individual game for the upcoming season.
West Virginia at Pitt, September 1st, 2022: Pitt returns most of its team that finished 11-3 and 7-1 in the ACC last season. While Pitt lost outstanding starting quarterback Kenny Pickett, presumed starter for the upcoming season, Kedon Slovis, an experienced, accomplished senior, is a sufficient replacement.
It’s difficult to say this, but Pitt is in a better place as a football program right now. There’s just no doubt about that. They were 11-3 last season and the Mountaineers were 6-7.
JT Daniels could make all the difference for West Virginia. He won’t be intimidated by the crowd or atmosphere or hype of the Backyard Brawl.
But Pitt is a more complete team. And they will be at home. I hope I’m wrong, but nothing that Neal Brown has done so far at West Virginia has inspired confidence that the Mountaineers will go into Pittsburgh and beat a better team.
Pitt 35 West Virginia 31
West Virginia 0-1
Kansas at West Virginia, September 10th, 2022: At 2-10 overall and 1-8 in Big 12 Conference play, it’s difficult to say that the Kansas Jayhawks were improved last season.
But remember, this is a team that beat the Texas Longhorns 57-56 in Austin, Texas, nearly upset TCU on the road and barely lost to West Virginia 34-28 at home in their final three games of the season last year.
Kansas’ history in football has been terrible. With that said, Lance Leipold is an outstanding coach and starting quarterback Jalon Daniels is a raw, talented difference-maker who completed 70.5% of his passes for 706 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions in his final three games as the starter last season.
West Virginia, perhaps coming off a defeating, difficult loss at Pitt, will be deflated and ripe for an upset. JT Daniels has a big game but the Mountaineers are upset by Kansas to move to 0-2.
Kansas 42 West Virginia 35
West Virginia 0-2
Towson at West Virginia, September 17th, 2022: West Virginia gets their first victory of the season over Colonial Athletic Association’s Towson, who finished 4-7 last year. West Virginia’s offense starts to roll and the defense shuts down Towson’s over-matched offense.
West Virginia 55, Towson 10
West Virginia 1-2
West Virginia at Virginia Tech, September 22nd, 2022: Virginia Tech plays Old Dominion, Boston College at home and Wofford in their first three games of the season and will likely enter the rivalry game against West Virginia at 3-0. Although the Hokies are not predicted to be a tremendously great team this season, the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy is a huge game for them and the game is going to be played at 7:30PM. Night games at Lane Stadium are no easy task for any opponent, regardless of how bad Virginia Tech is.
West Virginia will put up a good fight, but beating Virginia Tech on the road at Lane Stadium at night in a rivalry game is next to impossible.
Virginia Tech 28, West Virginia 17
West Virginia 1-3
West Virginia at Texas, October 1st, 2022: Texas struggled last season at 5-7, but remember, this is a very talented team with Bijan Robinson, the league’s best running back, returning, and Quinn Ewers, the former top quarterback in the country who transferred from Ohio State. Although it’s difficult to say that Texas is back, they will certainly be better than last season.
Texas 42, West Virginia 21
West Virginia 1-4
Baylor at West Virginia, October 13th, 2022: Coming off a bye week following a tough start to the season, West Virginia will be ready to turn their season around with a potential upset over perhaps the top team in the conference.
But Baylor is complete and simply too good at this point for West Virginia. Again, the Mountaineers put up a good fight but falls short at home.
Baylor 35, West Virginia 31
West Virginia 1-5
West Virginia at Texas Tech, October 22nd, 2022: This is a matchup of two fairly evenly-matched teams, but again, it’s on the road in Lubbock, an extremely difficult place to win. The Mountaineers are once again the victim of an extremely challenging schedule.
Texas Tech 24, West Virginia 7
West Virginia 1-6
TCU at West Virginia, October 29th, 2022: The Mountaineers get back in the win column with a decisive victory at home.
West Virginia 48, TCU 14
West Virginia 2-6
West Virginia at Iowa State, November 5th, 2022: This game is a real toss-up and could really go either way. The Mountaineers, coming off a victory at home against TCU, will be hungry to get their first road win of the season. My heart tells me the Mountaineers pull the upset but my head tells me otherwise.
Iowa State 28, West Virginia 24
West Virginia 2-7
Oklahoma at West Virginia, November 12th, 2022: Oklahoma completely out-classes and out-talents West Virginia. The Mountaineers stay close at home early before getting blown out.
Oklahoma 56, West Virginia 35
West Virginia 2-8
Kansas State at West Virginia, November 19th, 2022: Kansas State is coming off a very respectable 8-5 season and return 1,400-yard running back in Duece Vaughn and their two leading wide receivers. In addition, they’ve added veteran quarterback Adrian Martinez, a transfer from Nebraska. The Wildcats also return Felix Anudike-Uzomah, one of the top defensive players in the entire country.
On a neutral field, Kansas State would beat West Virginia. At Milan Puskar Stadium, the Mountaineers find a way to win.
West Virginia 28, Kansas State 24
West Virginia 3-8
West Virginia at Oklahoma State, November 26th, 2022: Oklahoma State was the best team in the Big 12 Conference last season and will almost certainly contend for the conference title again this season. West Virginia, desperately in search of a big win to salvage their disappointing season, will compete hard but ultimately lose big in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State 49, West Virginia 35
West Virginia projected final record: 3-9