Morgantown, W. Va. – Head coach Neal Brown addressed the media Tuesday afternoon to give a brief recap of last Saturday’s home loss to Iowa State, an injury update, roster restructuring and a look at this week’s opponent; the Oklahoma Sooners.
Brown started by thanking the fans present for the Iowa State game. The game took place during fall break, a time when attendance can be done, and Brown was appreciative of the crowd present.
“I want to start by thanking our fans for Saturday,” Brown said. ” I thought our atmosphere was good and it affected Iowa State in the first half . . . I just thank everyone for showing up and being loud, I appreciate that.”
Brown went on in his game recap to point out that his team faced a really good opponent, and took them competitively to the fourth quarter, before falling short for the second week in a row. Brown spoke highly of the defense giving the team a chance to win going into the fourth quarter.
Brown shifted his conference to a slightly different topic, pointing out several players he felt deserved special attention for their game time performance, despite the loss. He highlighted George Campbell and Dante Bonamico on special teams, Josh Chandler had his best game of year for the defense, and Nicktroy Fortune played 80 snaps as a true freshman. Brown also pointed out that Colton McKivitz and TJ Simmons are making big plays for the offense, with Simmons having huge weeks the past two weeks. The head coach was pleased with the performance of these players for all four quarters of the game despite the overall outcome.
Brown shifted his focus to the elephant in the room; #5 Oklahoma on Saturday. Brown highlighted how great of a job Coach Lincoln Riley has done and how well they are playing. “If you look at their football team, they’re playing well on all three phases of the ball.” Brown is well-aware of their offensive skills, “Some of their numbers (on offense) look like the stuff our players play on Madden.”
Brown is looking forward to getting the team back on track after back-to-back home losses. “We’re disappointed but it’s not doom and gloom in here,” Brown said. “We’re playing 21 freshman and sophomores right now . . . we started six redshirt or true freshman on Saturday.” Brown pointed out that the amount of freshman he’s playing is similar to his first year at Kentucky in 2013, and then Troy in 2015.
The head coach is well aware of the challenge that looms ahead in Norman Saturday afternoon. While it is certainly an uphill battle for the team, Brown is eager to get the team moving with forward momentum despite the National Championship-worthy Sooners that will face the Mountaineers at 11:00am central time Saturday.