Mountaineers ’emptied the tank’ in earning fourth consecutive victory

FORT WORTH, Tx. — Neal Brown’s last three postgame press conferences have focused on similar themes following similar results, each perhaps more satisfying than the previous game. After victories over Pittsburgh, Texas Tech and Saturday’s 24-21 triumph at TCU, Brown has discussed mistakes made and errors overcome with stout defense and timely plays on offense, usually in the running game. After a busy September, the Mountaineers find themselves tied atop the Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma with 2-0 marks in the league.

“This was a fight. And we are a team that is kind of built for ugly football, and for fights,” said Brown. “We have a really tough team.” 

Nicco Marchiol led WVU to their last two victories and he appeared to be in line to start once more against the Horned Frogs while Garrett Greene continued to recover from an ankle injury. That plan was adjusted midweek after Marchiol suffered an ankle injury of his own. Greene returned against TCU and accounted for 222 yards of total offense and two rushing touchdowns.

“I think I was pressing too much in the first half,” Greene said. “That’s something I have to continue to get better at. I was pressing too much but in the second half, I just let it fly and my guys made plays for me.”

“If you can push off your back foot to throw it, if you can show me, this is your opportunity to show you can play and be close to a hundred percent, this is your chance. He went in and threw it really well,” Brown said.

West Virginia’s defense continues to remake its image after struggles throughout the 2022 season. In their last three games, the Mountaineers have yielded a total of ten second half points. After scoring 21 first half points, the Horned Frogs were blanked after halftime.

“We bent a little bit but we never broke,” Brown said. “We’ve got to work on our hands, this bye week. We dropped four interceptions I think. But our D-line is talented and we got pressure there late.”

Brown has often remarked that special teams needed to be an edge for his team. A pair of blocked field goals by Mike Lockhart and Sean Martin preserved Saturday’s win.

“I told Lee [Kpogba], Tyrin [Bradley], I told all my teammates that I am going to block a field goal for us. The hole came open and I blocked it. The rest is history,” said Lockhart.

Time off comes at the best possible time for the Mountaineers after a 3 hour, 45 minute game in Texas heat. WVU enters their lone bye week of the season.

“We emptied the tank,” Brown said. “We’re going on a bye week and I told those guys that I will see you all on Wednesday. Take some time. I need some time.”

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