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What Neal Brown had to say following loss to Minnesota

The West Virginia football team fell to Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl last night and head coach Neal Brown met with the media following the game to discuss his team’s performance and their season as a whole.

Brown first gave credit to Minnesota and talked about how they played on Tuesday night like they did all season. That type of team is a clock controlling, running the football kind of team.

“I want to give credit to coach Fleck, his players, staff, Minnesota — really good football team and I thought they kind of grinded out a win and it’s a credit to them because that’s kind of how they played all year,”

West Virginia was down their lead running back in senior Leddie Brown which didn’t help the rushing attack and quarterback Jarret Doege was sacked on five different occasions.

“Offensively, we were down some personnel but at the end of the game we’ve got to be better,” said Brown. “I thought our running backs did some good things, breaking tackles, Tony made some plays in space but other than that I don’t know if we played good anywhere offensively.”

The Mountaineers countered a strong Golden Gopher rushing attack led by freshmen Ky Thomas and Mar’Keise Irving with a veteran defensive line of senior Dante Stills, sophomore Akheem Mesidor and redshirt junior Taijh Alston.

“If you look at it, the three big plays they had in the pass game, the first one they hit it was either on the first or second drive, we didn’t cover them very well but the other ones they made were 50-50 balls so credit to their wideouts,” Brown explained. “They hit us with some more gap runs, the one explosive run they hit was on a cutback, we really played well and they got the backside cut.”

The bright spot of this loss for West Virginia is that they have a number of players coming back and only a few not eligible next season. Brown said it shouldn’t be all “doom and gloom” in his locker room because he says they were close as a team.

“We’ve got most of our football team coming back, I would say we have as much coming back on our football team than anyone in the country and so we’re not all doom and gloom,” Brown said.

Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography

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