Morgantown, W. Va. – Following Saturday afternoon’s home throttling by Texas Tech, head coach Neal Brown was visibly aware of how grim things looked on Mountaineer Field. The Mountaineers were handed their fifth straight loss, falling 38-17 to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Saturday’s fifth loss in a row is something Mountaineer faithful have only seen three other times in a span of four decades. At the beginning of the season, it was pointed out numerous times, albeit as positively and politely as possible, that this could be a very different season from last year. Brown has made it clear that the learning curve is steep, but that learning is exactly what this time would do; learn to grow and learn to be great.
The Saturday slaughter by the Red Raiders, who were siting with the same 3-5 record as the Mountaineers, just proved Brown’s point that the team has a lot of problems and not a lot of the right fixes for an immediate answer.
After a long four quarters of football, on a cold Morgantown afternoon, the head ball coach had a message for the fans:
“This is really for our fans. I appreciate them being here. They were here at 9:30 in the morning for our Mantrip when (the temperature) was in the upper 20s or low 30s. They were supportive,” Brown pointed out. “They were here through the bad first half, through the second half and a high percentage of them stayed (for the entire game). I appreciate that, and that absolutely does not go unnoticed.”
“We’re not playing very well as a football team right now, and we’ve got a ton of work to do in this program,” Brown pointed out. “This is probably going to be one of our worst days. But I’ll tell you right now, we will build a successful program here. It doesn’t look like it right now, but because of (the fans) and for them, we will be successful here; we’ll absolutely be successful here.
“There are some growth pains right now. That is what it is,” Brown went on to say. “I promise you nobody is more frustrated by anything that is going on on the football field than me; I promise you that. But we have a high percentage of guys who are going to be back, and not just for one year but for three years. And they will significantly get better, and we’ll do a better job coaching them. And there will be a product on the field that matches the fans we have.”
While it is clear that times are tough within the football program, it is also clear that Brown wants to make his program a success; and one in the near future. Brown’s post-game statements are truthful and somber, but also a small look at just how positive of a thinker Brown is.
His attitude shows that he knows things are bad, but he also has the confidence in his players and coaches that they will improve, and that improvement will come with the motivation of Mountaineer faithfuls standing behind the team through the process. Since day one of the Brown era, it has been made very clear Brown has a vision and a plan for the team. While the Mountaineers are in a slight slump, it’s evident that this team wants nothing more than to prove themselves and be great; especially for the fans.