MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After Monday, WVU head football coach Neal Brown doesn’t want to talk about the Houston game for a long time.
Brown offered his final thoughts on the loss to Houston, the Hail Mary ending, and everything that led up to it before previewing this week’s home matchup with Oklahoma State.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Brown’s weekly media session:
Rebounding from a dramatic loss
When losing the game on the last play of the game, there is a certain shock, one akin to grief, that can last a couple days, or longer. For Brown and WVU, the loss to Houston certainly will sting for a while.
“I’ve never experienced a loss like that,” he said.
Fortunately for the Mountaineers, they have a chance to right the ship Saturday against Oklahoma State in Morgantown for homecoming. With a 4-2 record and bowl eligibility still at stake, there is a lot to play for in the back half of the season.
“You can’t control what happens all the time, but you can control you response,” Brown said. “Our response is [that] we better fight, and we better put better stuff on tape, or it’s going to be a long year.”
Containing Greene’s emotions
Junior quarterback Garrett Greene’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was a major factor on Houston’s game-winning scoring drive Thursday night. Going back to fall camp, Brown has spoke about the efforts within the WVU program to harness Greene’s emotion into a strength while managing it so that it doesn’t become a problem.
“What makes him great is that he has this exuberant energy,” Brown said. “I wish I had his energy. He doesn’t have very many bad days. He’s always upbeat. He’s bouncing around, but also, you need to be able to limit that, and what makes him great is sometimes also his Achilles’ heel, whether that’s playing a quarterback or that’s celebrating a touchdown.”
Still, Greene set a career-high in passing yards (391 yards, two touchdowns) while boosting WVU’s offense to its strongest performance of Big 12 play.
“Without him, we got no chance in that game,” Brown said.
Respect for Mike Gundy
Brown concluded his media session with praise for Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, who’s been at the helm of the Cowboys’ program for almost 20 years.
Despite having one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the Big 12, OSU has rebounded nicely after a rough start to reach 4-2 with a 2-1 conference record.
“He’s won it scoring high in high scoring years with [lots of] points, and he’s won it being one of the top defenses in the country, so he’s done it a bunch of different ways,” Brown said. “He’s done it with a bunch of different staff [members] that have rolled in there, and I think he’s stayed pretty true to himself.”