Neal Brown did not expect his team to be at this point.
The Mountaineers stand at 2-4, ninth in the Big 12, following a 45-20 loss to Baylor on Oct. 9.
Brown and his staff spent the bye week going out on the recruiting trail and meeting with his recruits. Brown, alongside 10 other coaches went out on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to scout and watch the players that they’re interested in.
For the current players, the team worked on figuring out what to turn the season around, and Brown said they did it with a good attitude, despite the slow start to the season.
“We got a bunch of fundamental work and a bunch of good work, and felt good about it. Guys had good attitudes,” Brown said.
West Virginia is looking for their first road win since Nov. 2019, against TCU. Now with another date against the Horned Frogs, the Mountaineers have an opportunity to turn the season around against another struggling team. TCU has lost three out of their last four games, to SMU, Texas and Oklahoma. Their only win comes against Texas Tech on Oct. 9. West Virginia is now trying to snap a three-game losing streak and eyes at the best chance to do so.
The third-year coach talked about what the energy is inside the locker room now.
“[We’re] excited about the week,” Brown said. “I think they’re refreshed mentally, which is important as anything, and I’m ready to go about the business.”
What did the team work on during the bye week to gain that confidence back?
“So, we were really mentally exhausted and physically beat up coming off that subpar performance versus Baylor,” Brown said. “We practiced [on] Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We did good on good work all three days, with shorter amount of time on the field.”
TCU is never an easy game. Head coach Gary Patterson has spent his last 21 seasons in Fort Worth, bringing the university from a WAC school, to the Mountain West and now to the Big 12 for the last nine years. Brown said that he has a lot of respect for Patterson and what he has done for TCU’s program.
The Horned Frogs have scored 14 rushing touchdowns in the six games that they have played in 2021. When watching film, Brown noticed that once TCU gets into the red zone, that they’re really good at pounding the ball in for six points.
For Brown’s offense, he does want to run the ball more. The Mountaineers are dead last in the Big 12 with 108.3 rushing yards per game. In comparison with the rest of the country, WVU is 114-out-of-130.
Brown wants to figure out a second string by Tuesday or Wednesday, whether that’s Tony Mathis or Justin Johnson.
As the team continues to think optimistically and have a good attitude, the Mountaineers will look to take full-advantage of another struggling team in TCU on Saturday.