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Neal Brown Guarantees West Virginia Won’t Finish Last in Big 12



Neal Brown at practice

Neal Brown is well aware of what people are saying about his team heading into the 2023 season. He knows few thinks WVU will win, many feel he will eventually be fired and the media even voted the Mountaineers to finish dead last in the Big 12.

Brown, who hasn’t shied away from speaking publicly on his West Virginia tenure so far this offseason, spoke for the first time on Thursday since the official Big 12 media poll results were released. While in Arlington, Texas at Big 12 Media Days, Brown appeared on the D.A. Show on CBS Sports Radio.

“Almost every preseason poll has us finishing last and I can guarantee you that we’re not going to finish last in the Big 12 Conference. We’re a much better football team than that. Now we’re anxious to go out and show it,” said Brown when asked about being picked to be the worst team in the conference.

“The players see it on social media, but we aren’t worried about what the media does and says. A lot of that is laziness too. We have almost 120 starts on the offensive line. We have a budding star in running back CJ Donaldson. Defensively, we have all league defenders at each level; Sean Martin will be an all-league player on the defensive line. Lee Kpogba is one of the leading returning tacklers and I think he’ll be an all-league player. And Aubrey Burks is one of the best safeties, if not the best safety in the league. We fell off last year on the defensive side and didn’t play as well as we had the first 3 years. We’ll get that rectified and play much better defense, and that will give us an opportunity to win. I firmly believe we’ll be better.”

Brown also talked about the increase in pressure on him to quickly get things turned around as he enters his fifth season as WVU head coach. “Everyone in this profession has pressure. I feel very fortunate to do this for a living. I feel a sense of gratitude. We want to be better. We have to be better this year. That’s what our state and fans and our players deserve, and that’s what we’re working towards,” he said.

Just a few weeks ago, Brown talked with WVSN’s Mike Asti in a lengthy interview and discussed his tenure to this point.

WVU AD Wren Baker Likes the Vibe of 2023 West Virginia Football Team

In a related story, WVU director of athletics Wren Baker explained why he believes in Neal Brown and his West Virginia team.

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