MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU football head coach, Neal Brown, addressed the media Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference.
The Mountaineer head coach reflected on this past Saturday’s ball game, while previewing this weekend’s game against Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas.
Here are four takeaways from his latest media session:
QB play wasn’t very good on Saturday
The head coach wasn’t pleased, overall, by the play he saw out of his two quarterbacks on Saturday.
Jarret Doege was held to just 109 passing yards on 15 completions, while Garrett Greene completed just one of his two passes and was held to just three rushing yards. Brown also mentioned that Greene missed a possible touchdown on a zone read play.
“We didn’t play very well at that position, we really didn’t. That’s the case for every position on offense. There’s not one position that we can talk about that played very well,” Brown said.
The Oklahoma State pass rush collected eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss, and while not all of those can be pinned on the quarterbacks, Brown says reads could’ve been better.
“We didn’t do a good enough job getting rid of the ball in the pocket,” Brown said. “However many sacks we had, I think three of them, or maybe four of them, were avoidable. We had people open. We missed a run read in the first drive that should’ve been a walk-in touchdown when Garrett was in there, and he puts the ball on the ground twice. Just poor fundamentals.”
K-State has length on defense
Kansas State is traditionally a stout football team defensively. One thing that has stuck out to Brown when watching tape on the Wildcats is their length.
Brown pointed out the physical abilities and athleticism of defensive end, Felix Anukike-Uzomah, and defensive back Jahron McPherson.
“The thing that I respect about him, is that he plays hard,” Brown said of Anukike-Uzomah, who registered four sacks and eight tackles two weeks ago against TCU.
All seven of Kansas State’s defensive backs who are upperclassmen are listed at 6’0″ or taller.
Not only is K-State athletic, but the Wildcats play multiple players at each position throughout the course of the game, which is a credit to their depth.
Brown updated the injury status of a couple of Mountaineer players.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Lance Dixon will be doubtful for Saturday’s game.
Meanwhile, redshirt junior cornerback Charles Woods will be a go against the Wildcats. Woods dealt with some cramping issues against the Cowboys.
Redshirt senior wideout Isaiah Esdale didn’t practice last week, but the coaching staff is hopeful to get him back on the field during practice this week.
Going week-to-week, not looking ahead
West Virginia is just two wins away from attaining bowl eligibility with three games to go in the regular season.
When asked if bowl eligibility is something that he and the team have talked about recently, Brown said it really hasn’t been a topic of conversation. He’s much more worried, at the moment, about each game week-to-week.
“I don’t have to talk to them about it. They know what it is, but I just want us to play up to our capability. I just want us to play football the way it’s supposed to be played in all three phases,” Brown said. “If we do that, that takes care of itself.”
Brown did acknowledge that playing in a bowl game is something he wants to achieve with his team, speaking to not only the extra practice reps it gives, as well as national exposure to the program.
“It’s a huge benefit,” Brown said. “You get extra practices. But also, most bowl games, you’re the only one on. Go look at our TV rankings last year for the Army game. That’s huge exposure for us, not only for our football program but for our university.”