Morgantown, W. Va. – Friday afternoon head coach Neal Brown took to the podium for the final time in the 2019 season. Brown’s first season finished up with a 5-7 record, including upsetting TCU in Fort Worth to stop the Horned Frogs from making it to a bowl game.
“A 5-7 record is not good enough, Brown said. “That doesn’t meet the standard here. I’m well aware of that. But we were only favored in two of the 12 games. And I was pleased with how we finished the season. I’m excited about the future. I’m excited about where we’re going.”
Off the bat, the first thing Brown addressed was two areas of improvement that his team needs to work on; the run game and creating takeaways on defense. “The key area of improvement offensively is run-game production,” Brown remarked. “If we want to make strides offensively, we’ve got to be able to run the ball better.”
“Defensively, we’ve got to increase our takeaways,” Brown pointed out. “Those are the two biggest statistical pieces we need to see improvement in.”
Brown went on to point out that Adam Stilley and Jovani Haskins have entered the transfer portal. Brown knows that there are tons of reasons for players to enter into the transfer portal, and he knows playing time is always a factor.
One of the biggest takeaways from Brown’s conference was that receiver George Campbell has applied for a sixth year of eligibility. The touchdown machine was riddled with injuries during his time at Florida State. Going into the 2019 season, Campbell was expected to be a one-year guy, and greatly exceeded any expectations. Campbell is currently toying with the decision of entering into the 2020 NFL Draft while awaiting to hear whether his sixth year of NCAA eligibility will be approved. Brown is supportive of Campbell’s decision whether he stays or goes.
“I’m supportive of George. We thought it was going to be a one-year deal. He exceeded expectations. He gave stability to that receivers’ room. He was our best player on special teams. We got significant production from him late in the year,” Brown stated. “I think he’s just scratching the surface. If he comes back, he can mold into a high-level receiver. But I’m completely supportive of whatever decision he makes.”
Brown has high hopes for both his team and his coaching staff during the off-season. Brown hopes for no major coaching staff changes, but is aware that plenty of things happen in the first few months of the off-season.
“You never know what will happen in the next two months. But that’s the intent. I tell my staff that I’m for them personally, but my greater responsibility is to our university and the football program. So my hope here is that it’s a working environment they want to be part of,” Brown remarked. “They see where we’re going and how we go about getting there, and we’re giving them an opportunity to grow in the profession.We want to continue to develop them as coaches to whatever their end goal is, whether it’s coordinator or head coach.”
Finally, Brown has high hopes for his team next season and knows that improvement is the only option going forward.
“It’s going to be a huge offseason for us,” Brown said. “We’ve got to be focused on being one of the most improved teams in the country next year.”