The West Virginia football team was able to come home and get a much needed Big 12 victory on Saturday. The Mountaineers beat a solid No. 22 Iowa State team after dropping their only other home conference game of the season to Texas Tech, earlier in the month.
Mountaineer head coach Neal Brown talked about the way his team played following the game and went into detail of how much his team prepared for a tough Iowa State team after getting blown out against Iowa State last season.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Iowa State, what they’ve been able to establish there, a lot of respect for coach Campbell and his entire staff and their players. Especially if you look at it, I think 16 seniors start and those guys have really been through it and have really taken that program from one that was losing and they’ve taken it all the way to the Big 12 Championship.”
Brown also discussed what he saw from his team’s defense and how well they were able to get Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy and the rest of the team off the field to limit damage. One of the biggest plays of the day was when Mountaineer Exree Loe knocked a fumble out of the hands of Iowa State running back Breece Hall at the goal line which was recovered for a touchback.
“Defensively, two-for-12 on third down Iowa State was, we got off the field, the fumble was big and I’m sure it’s going to get talked about a bunch,” explained Brown. “We got the ball out and we were able to take advantage of that, I thought that was a huge play in the game.”
Brown also went in depth about how his team put the game away on defense when they made a final defensive stand on a hail mary pass to secure the seven-point win.
“We finished on defense… today we had a chance to get off the field and finish the game more importantly and we finished the game on defense. So much credit needs to go to our older guys because you look out there and I thought Sean Mahone, Alonzo Addae bounces back from giving up a play early in the game, played big, Jackie Matthews battled.”
Brown discussed the play of his quarterback Jarret Doege on the day while even in the midst of turning the ball over a couple times, the redshirt senior tossed for 370 yards and three touchdowns.
“I thought he played extremely well and he knew that he had to play well coming into the game and sometimes that makes it even harder,” said Brown. “Outside of that, I think he played extremely well and through all this he’s number one in the Big 12 in passing.”
Brown credited the role of his strength staff and recovery team in how well the team responded from the slippage last season against Iowa State.
“I think it starts with our strength staff, we didn’t play as well up front early in the year as we thought we would, it’s been a process to change that offensive line room,” explained Brown.
“If you want to talk about why we played better it starts with our strength staff, that 42-6 score was up from the time we came back in January to fall camp and it was emphasized for us to compete in this league against elite teams that we were going to have to be stronger and we were going to have to be more physical.”
Photo by Ethan Bock, Blue Gold Sports