What I Think After West Virginia Saves Its Season (For Now)

What I Think After West Virginia Saves Its Season (For Now)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 West Virginia at TCU
Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

West Virginia won one of its winnable road games, it’s a good start

The TCU Horned Frogs have now twice provided the blueprint for the how Neal Brown wants to win. In 2020, Neal jumped out to an early lead, realized TCU did not have an answer and we just ground out the game in the second half. This year, the offense knew what it could do and the defense stood strong and produced three turnovers, giving the offense extra possessions.

Doege Was Good Enough

21 completions on 28 attempts for 257 yards. No touchdowns. No interceptions. That is game manager esque and we asked Jarret not to mess the game up and he did not. AT least in the game as a whole. Still, he nearly threw an interception on our first possession on a slant throw that the safety read like it was his favorite book. It should have been another touchdown for TCU but bad teams miss plays and TCU missed the play.

The third quarter was a mess. The offensive line, for all of its good last night, gave up a jailbreak sack on Doege and it definitely rattled him. Luckily it was only a series and not the game but you saw once the Mountaineers were behind the sticks, they were unable to get going and that has been a theme for a while now. If West Virginia is on schedule, everything is good. If it is not, everything is bad. There is very little in between.

Missing Person – Garret Greene

True to form, Garret Greene was inserted into the game on the third series of the game. After a 3 yard run, Brandon Yates false started and put West Virginia in a 2nd and 12. checks notes “If West Virginia is on schedule, everything is good. If it is not, everything is bad”. West Virginia was behind the sticks and Garret Greene ripped off a 67 yard run. Through three quarters, Greene was the leading rusher on the team. Until Leddie Brown’s third touchdown run, he and Greene still produced the same amount of yardage on the ground and until the final series when West Virginia was just grinding away the clock and Brown broke a 24 yard run, Brown only had 79 yards to Greene’s 69.

After the six play series on the third drive of the game, we never saw Greene again. And I know what Brown would say if asked “The flow of the game never presented an opportunity to insert Garret into the game”. Which may be true, but man it definitely feels like the coach played the game that way. Play conservatively. Play it close to your vest and whoops, can’t insert QB2 because the game is too close. At this point, I’d prefer Brown to just come out and say Greene isn’t going to play again because it might as well be the reality. Just go ahead and stop asking about Greene because its obvious at this point, he isn’t playing.

Turnovers

Coming into this game the defense produced only four turnovers and had scored once off those turnovers (a touchdown against LIU on a fumble recovery). This time, the defense actually forced turnovers and the offense produced points. The first interception, a beautiful interception by Daryl Porter Jr, where he jumped the route, put the ball into TCU territory. Because it started in TCU territory, the drive produced points. This seemed to invigorate the defense because they looked like a different animal after that. The next interception by Charles Wood, spooked TCU and even better, WVU turned it into a touchdown.

The Team Responded

It was really nice to see the team respond. It was reasonable to see if the team was quitting on the coaches or if they were going to look inward and fight. The team chose to fight and against an inferior opponent, it turned into a good night for the Old Gold and Blue. West Virginia looked good and the coaches can use this as a building block. The schedule lays out that the team can win at least two more games and finishing 5-7 after starting 2-4 is a decent improvement. The question is can the team steal one against the three teams who should be better. I think Oklahoma State isn’t very good and that is a winnable home game for the Mountaineers. That could be the difference in a bowl game. The Big 12 is not very good. This is probably the worst the Big 12 has been since 2016.

Catchy Title Here

Play Caller

Mentioned by Mike Casazza and Chris Anderson on their post game podcast that West Virginia may have had a different play caller. At times I did notice the camera panned over to Neal Brown and he wasn’t holding a play calling sheet. The offense did feel more fluid and better at times. There were fewer game-management decisions and the few that were made seem to be the right ones. Or at least better decisions.


How do you feel after this win? West Virginia is now 3-4. How many wins do you think the team finishes with now?