Morgantown, W.VA. – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown met with the media Monday afternoon ahead of his football team’s season finale Thursday. The Mountaineers will travel to Memphis, Tennessee to participate in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, taking on the Army Black Knights.
Brown and crew were originally set to play the Tennessee Volunteers, but the day after the bowl announcement the Volunteers had to back out due to COVID-19 issues. Army, a 9-2 team that somehow did not receive a bowl invitation, was Brown’s first choice for a replacement opponent.
Coach Brown is excited for his team to have one final game this season, albeit against a tough opponent saying about the Black Knights; “A disciplined group that plays extremely hard…they play nasty football, and I mean that in a complimentary way.”
Brown knows Thursday’s game will have a lot of eyes on it, mostly for the fact that Army has long-been one of the Nation’s teams. The head coach feels this could be one of the most-watched bowl games leading up to the New Year’s Six and the playoff games.
The Army game will be the final game of the season, a season where coaches, staff and players have spent an aggressive amount of time together due to the pandemic. Following the game, there will be a short break followed by a quarantine upon returning to Morgantown. Once the team has returned and quarantined, the coaches will put together small group winter workouts to maintain safe social distancing through the off-season.
The winter workouts will be the first steps of preparation for the 2021 season, which Coach Brown hopes will see the return of some of this year’s seniors. The NCAA has granted all players an additional year of eligibility this year due to the pandemic, so Brown is hopeful for the returning current seniors to come back and have a true Senior Day recognition in Morgantown next fall.
The Mountaineers take on the Army Black Knights in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. The game will kick off at 4:00 ET, televised on ESPN.