MARTINSBURG — “Do your job.”
That is one of many messages the WVU football coaching staff is preaching to their team after the disappointing loss to Missouri on Saturday.
Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning said he saw the team do things in the game he had never seen them do in practice.
“We had a meeting in this room yesterday where we started off the meeting with a quote about (Bill) Belichick just ‘do your job,’ which is about the best way I can say it,” Koenning said. “Too many guys were not doing what they were supposed to do. We did not execute. We had our hands on Kelly Bryant five times that are inexcusable that we didn’t get the sacks, and they scored on three of those drives.”
Koenning’s message to the guys was that they are more capable than what they showed.
“We have to find that fine edge that can convince these guys that they are capable of being as good as they want to be and that was the message to them yesterday,” he said “We showed them where if they just do what they are supposed to do then plays will come to them and we will be as good as we want to be.”
Offensive Coordinator Matt Moore said without changes to the depth chart, there could be the same results. He added continuity will come later.
“When you perform as poorly as we have two weeks in a row, you got to start making changes and continuity just has to come later,” Moore said. “You have to try to get people in there that can make the blocks that need to be made, play the way you want them to play and do the things they are coached to do. That is my job, is getting those guys in there and finding somebody that can get in there and do what they are supposed to do.”
Despite the negativities, Moore said this team is going to get better.
“We are going to get better, there is no doubt about it … we just have to keep working. I don’t think the mentality of this group is ever to give up,” he said. “We are going to keep working, we are going to keep getting better week after week. Just trying to make small gains everyday is what I try to get them to do, get better at something everyday.”
Head Coach Neal Brown told the media that on Monday evening, the WVU football team flipped the page to focus on North Carolina State at home this Saturday. In preparation, Brown said coaches will be giving some new guys opportunities at practice on all sides of the ball and will be making the jobs more competitive.
For a team expected to put up big rushing numbers this season, in Saturday’s loss at Missouri the 32 rushing attempts netted an average of less than one yard per carry at 0.9.
Brown did not place blame on one position stating it lies with the offensive line, running backs themselves and the wide receivers needing to make better blocks.
“We have to find our best five up front,” Brown said. “Outside of Colton McKivitz, I am not really fired up about how any of them played. So we are going to give some other guys some opportunities. Briason Mays, John Hughes and James Gmiter. Those guys are going to get some opportunities up front.”
At running back, Brown said he wished they would have got Alec Sinkfield in the mix Saturday sooner, who “ran best out of any guys who played Saturday.” He also noted his excitement in getting Leddie Brown back who is a physical back, which he thinks has been missing.
Brown also expects some freshman will also get their opportunity.
“Winston Wright and Ali Jennings will play for this first time this week,” he said. “Then on defense Jordan Jefferson is a guy we are going to get more in what we are doing. Those are some guys right off the cuff here.”
Brown said after facing some adversity he hopes to see his guys bounce back and play with more physicality on Saturday against 2-0 NC State, which begins at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
” … Looking forward to getting our team back. I think it’s one of the challenges in coaching is bouncing back when things don’t go your way. That’s where we’re at,” Brown said.