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Asti: Despite Playing Above Expectations, Moral Victories Don’t Exist for WVU



JT Daniels and Reese Smith

PITTSBURGH — When you enter a game as a heavy underdog and have a chance to win in the final seconds, people may try to label the game a “moral” victory.

Unfortunately for West Virginia, moral victories don’t exist right now.

While Neal Brown’s team did keep the game closer than many people thought they would, Brown and the Mountaineers only get credit for a loss.

What should sting the most for fans is WVU had the game in their grasp and then let it slip away.

Now this isn’t to say there aren’t positives to takeaway from covering a spread on the road against your arch rival, especially one that some have picked to make a run at the college football playoff.

JT Daniels and the offense already showed signs of being more exciting and explosive than last year under Jarret Doege, but the late interception–returned for a touchdown–ended up being the deciding factor and flipped looked like an eminently winnable game into the hands of the Panthers.

We could argue all day about the overturned catch at the end of the game, but it never should have been put in the referees hands. WVU showed they were good enough to compete with a defending major conference champion–on the road, yet were at their worst when it mattered the most.

The moral of the story is simple — WVU played well, at times. Better than expected against a quality Pitt team in a hostile stadium. But at the end of the day, Neal Brown’s program is still devoid of that big win in year four. And for anyone who wants to point to beating then top 15 Virginia Tech last season, that win lost its luster with much Tech was exposed after that game by the rest of the country.

I am in no way calling for Brown’s head after a Week 1 loss as an underdog, but people will now forever point to getting conservative and punting on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter, something his opposing coach even pointed out was a mistake.

Fans are still waiting for Brown to finally secure that big win, one that stands the rest of time and shows the program is truly climbing. The next test for Brown and WVU will come in Blacksburg. As was I stated earlier, the 2021 win over Virginia Tech was nice, but as far as this season goes, going 2-2 after 4 weeks by beating who you are supposed to beat and losing in the tough games just doesn’t cut it.

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