WVU Football: Coach Neal Brown foresees changes in the lineup

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI – SEPTEMBER 07: Quarterback Austin Kendall #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers rolls out as he looks to pass against the Missouri Tigers in the fourth quarter at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

WVU Football Coach Neal Brown stated that younger players are going to have opportunities. “I can handle losing. I don’t like it, but I can handle it.”

Coach Brown is searching for players that will step up and compete, on his offensive line.

 “What we’re going to do is, we’re going to give a bunch of guys opportunities Tuesday and Wednesday. We’re going to make those jobs competitive. We’re going to figure out who the best five are up front. Outside of Colt McKivitz, I’m not fired up about how any of them are playing. Briason Mays, John Hughes, James Gmiter, those guys are going to get some opportunities up front.”

WVU Football currently sits last in Division One, for rushing yardage. As he laid out grades for each area of his team, the positives he saw for his offense were no fumbles and the Mountaineers did a good job on third down. That third down “positive” was qualified by first-half performance.

If you were a fly on the wall in the WVU locker room, what do you think you would hear from your coaching staff? Coach Brown is communicating a message to his team. Start playing physical football. He stressed that each lineman needed to start winning individual battles, in order for the unit as a whole, to begin making progress.

Coach Brown not only singled out his offensive line, but also stated that the backs and receivers needed to get more physical as well. On that note, Leddie Brown will be set to return to the lineup on Saturday. Coach Brown stated that Leddie is a tough, physical guy. He sounds like part of the cure, for this football team.

Coach Brown: “Growth occurs in failure and we failed on Saturday”

Defense and Special Teams didn’t leave the press conference unscathed. Coach Brown pointed out that the defense gave up 232 yards rushing missed 5 sacks and 22 tackles. He did say that they played well in the second half.  On Special Teams, the coach wasn’t thrilled with the execution of the kickoff play. He stated, “We had an opportunity to take advantage of how they lined up.” He wanted more consistency with the punting unit: more distance and increased hang-time. In a positive, Coach Brown said the kickoff return unit was explosive and they block well.

Overall, we’ve heard this tune from Coach Brown before. He reiterated, “Our inability to do what we are coached to do and our lack of physicality. Those were the two biggest  disappointments for me.”  The coach will be making changes to his line-up. Who will step up and make the cut? Who will be relegated to a supporting role?

WVU Football: My Take

This coach is challenging his team to step-up and play Big 12 Football. Opening up the “O” line for a competition over the next couple of days will get the message through to upperclassmen. If they want to keep their starting jobs, they need to perform. Isn’t it that way outside of the hallowed halls of our educational institutions? If you don’t bring your lunch pail to work, you don’t eat. How bad do these young men want it?

We’ll find out when we see who starts, on Saturday.

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