WVU Players Believe They Can Win the Big 12

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — As the huge home opener against the Penn State Nittany Lions inches closer, the West Virginia Mountaineers have a new level of confidence this season.

In an article entitled “West Virginia football looks to build off last season’s momentum” released yesterday on ESPN, staff writer Harry Lyles, Jr. made the case that the Mountaineers will continue their climb this year, and it appears that everyone within the program has a great deal of belief that this season is going to be special.

“There’s a ton of belief program-wide,” head coach Neal Brown said in the article. “We’ve made some really important steps over the last 18 months. But the hardest part is that last piece. It’s the difference between nine wins and 11 — and winning a conference championship.”

Brown went on to say that he didn’t make many changes this offseason and that he’s comfortable with the process that he has in place now.

“Just get better, each player,” he said. “We need Garrett Greene to improve his completion percentage. We need Jaheim White to get better in the pass game. We need Wyatt Milum to be dominant. We need guys just to make a little bit of improvement. We need our receiver room to raise their production on contested catches.

We’ve pinpointed these really small growth areas at each position, within each player, and then within each department. That’s been the push since January; we need to make incremental growth. We need to be better to give ourselves an opportunity to go play in that championship game.”

Brown believes that he has one of the top returning quarterbacks in the nation leading the Mountaineers this season and said he has huge expectations for Garrett Greene heading into the season.

“My expectation is he’s going to have a big year,” Brown said. “I think last year, if you go and you just look at productivity, there’s very few quarterbacks in the country that are returning that had the same type of production he had. He’s an elite runner. He throws the ball downfield as good as anyone in college football, I think stats back that up. Our focus since January has been on intermediate throws and improving his completion percentage. And I really believe that he has a chance to go from a 53% completion percentage last year, that can be mid-60s or above.”

Greene also believes that West Virginia is primed for a big season, and said that his teammates all think the same thing. “This spring, there were no really down practices where guys just were struggling to be there,” he said. “I think top to bottom our guys love, love playing football. We could have teed it up the Sunday after the spring game if we needed to. There’s not a single guy in the locker room that doesn’t believe that we can be playing in Dallas in the first week of December,” Greene said. “We fully believe that. We definitely have the talent in the room on offense, defense and special teams. Now, it’s just a matter of putting in the work of the summer and, when the season comes, executing.”

Greene continued: “Last year, we were picked to finish 14th, and we didn’t. This year, we felt like we should have been one of the top favorites to win it, and the odds came out and we weren’t where we wanted to be. So, I think everything that this team does, we kind of play with a chip on our shoulder. We did that last year. We’re going to continue with this year. I would just tell them to sit back and watch the show.”