Morgantown, W.V. – Head Coach Neal Brown officially has one win under his belt as West Virginia’s head coach and now looks to get his second win, this time on the road. As the Mountaineers travel to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers. Coach Brown addressed the media Tuesday afternoon with all eyes focused on preparing his team for their first road trip of the season.
Coach Brown opened up the presser looking back at Saturday’s victory over James Madison, quickly pointing out that while the good guys came away victorious, Saturday’s win had plenty of teachable moments and areas of improvement, “A lot of teachable moments in this game” Brown pointed out, going on to point out what he thought were the reasons his team won, ” . . .Turnover margin, special teams plays and stopping the run game in the second half.”
Brown was grateful of his team’s win, regardless of how they got the W, but was also aware of how much of an uphill battle the team has this season saying, “Glad we got a win, but we have a long ways to go to get where we want to be.”
The Mountaineers head to Columbia, Missouri this weekend to take on the Missouri Tigers, who are coming off a loss to Wyoming. The Tigers are starting a rare five game-home game stretch, something you don’t often see in college football. “We’ve got our hands full,” Brown says showing a great amount of respect for the winless Tigers, feeling that they are one of the top teams in the country despite the loss to Wyoming this past Saturday.
“We should be a very hungry football team coming into this game. How we practice and how we handle ourselves today and tomorrow will be a big part of it. We just have to be hungry. “
Missouri will no doubt be looking to come back from their loss and start that five game-home stretch with a win over a Power 5 opponent. Now that both teams have live game film of themselves and their opponents, finding holes in both first games will help Brown, and Missouri head coach Barry Odom, find ways to win. For Missouri, the biggest hole would be Brown’s offense’s run game. There is plenty of room for growth for the Mountaineers in the run game.
“Run game was really poor . . . I think we lacked physicality across the board,” Brown remarked.
Coach Brown will certainly have his hands full with the team’s first road game Saturday afternoon in Missouri. While many coaches feel there is a difference between home and away games, the head coach feels the biggest difference is that they get on a plane and fly to a game. Game week prep stays the same, the coach’s approach to his players stays the same, the change is the team’s trip to Clarksburg to catch a plane and stay in a hotel.
For Brown and his coaches, many have already played the Tigers so they are familiar with the hotel and football facilities; noting the importance is just to come out on top and take the W back to Morgantown post-game.