Following West Virginia’s loss at Oklahoma on Saturday, head coach Neal Brown spoke about the loss at Oklahoma, the way the defense has performed over the past two seasons, as well as looking ahead to Texas Tech this weekend.
Final Thoughts on Oklahoma
Brown thought his team played well enough to win the game on Saturday. Brown said his team is ready to take the next step, it is just a matter of completing a game start to finish.
“We got to take the next step. That’s Oklahoma’s good football team and talented but we were good enough on that night. We got to get over the hump and do that.”
Defensive Performance since 2019
Brown said he feels has team has built an identity since the Texas Tech game in 2019. Brown says they are building a good defense at West Virginia and they just need to build depth, saying the defensive unit got tired towards the end of the Oklahoma game.
“I think we have established a standard here of how we play defense.”
I told our team this the other day… I think there’s a formula for us to win big here, and I think that’s built around playing great defense.”
Previewing Texas Tech
This Saturday, West Virginia will host Texas Tech. The Mountaineers have lost to Texas Tech in both years under Neal Brown. Brown says they are very explosive on offense, and they have to keep an eye on multiple players within their offense.
“They’ve had our number last two years,” Brown said. “The quarterback that started against us and really hurt as last year, extended plays. He’ll start again this week and the running backs have done a nice job.”
Brown also emphasized the importance of stopping wide receiver Erik Ezukanma. So far this season, Ezukanma has 23 receptions for 406 yards and one touchdown.
Brown said, “The number 13 receiver is a big time player. He’s really good and they do a good job getting him the ball.”
Defensively, the Red Raiders were good through three games Brown said. He feels last week when Texas Tech gave up 70 points, is more of a fluke than a standard of their level of defense.
“Defensively, they played well through three games. If you look at Texas, I think it’s a little bit of an anomaly in my opinion.”
Darryl Talley’s Number Retirement
Brown said he is excited for Darryl Talley’s number retirement this Saturday.
“I think it’s important to note Darryl Talley is getting his number retirement. He’s as good of a defensive player that’s ever played here. It’s fitting too, a guy that’s playing at an extremely high level be the last guy to wear 90, in Akheem Mesidor.
The Mountaineers and Red Raiders are set to kickoff on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography