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Four Downs With Neal Brown | Team Will Use Momentum To Prepare For Oklahoma

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Neal Brown (Ben Queen / WVU Athletics)

Following the biggest win during Neal Brown’s tenure at West Virginia over No. 15 Virginia Tech, the third-year head coach spoke with media to preview another big game against No. 4 Oklahoma.

Mountaineers Will Attempt To Carry Momentum From Last Week’s Win to Oklahoma

“Great team win on Saturday. I thought it was huge for us to get the Black Diamond Trophy back in Morgantown for the first time since 2003,” Brown said. “I know our fans were excited.”

Brown awarded players of the week as usual, with RB Leddie Brown winning offensive player of the week and BAN Jared Bartlett winning defensive. The 41-year-old gave the West Virginia fans credit for helping create an amazing college football atmosphere.

The negatives from Saturday’s game that Brown pointed out was the third and longs on defense. The Mountaineers allowed Virginia Tech to convert on a 3rd & 17 and a 3rd & 24 on two separate occasions. Brown mentioned that they need to do a better job about penalties on third down on both sides of the ball. The team will spend time this week working on what they need to improve on from last week’s exciting game.

Brown Sees This Saturday Against Oklahoma As A Huge Opportunity

Brown and his team now has gained momentum after securing the Black Diamond Trophy last Saturday against Virginia Tech. Now, the once questionable team, will head to Norman, Oklahoma for a Saturday night primetime date against the No. 4 team in the country.

“We’re moving on to a new challenge this week as with Oklahoma. We are going up against the six-time defending Big 12 champion. You know just saying that is a lot, right? But, six times in-a-row they’ve won the Big 12 championship,” Brown said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for our program, ABC 7:30 p.m. eastern [time]. Primetime game, playing in one of the most traditional rich venues in college football.”

Bandit Jared Bartlett’s Huge Game Against VT Wasn’t Expected

Against the Hokies, redshirt sophomore Jared Bartlett had a career game when it was most-needed. Bartlett recorded three tackles-for-loss, three sacks, and a forced fumble. Brown said that Bartlett had struggled in the first two weeks of the season but came along last week in practice.

“He [Bartlett] had a great summer. He had a really good fall camp and then he just did not play as well the first two games for whatever reason, he just didn’t have a good feel,” Brown said. “Last week, he had a great Tuesday and Wednesday practices, were really good. So you can see, he was getting better.”

Brown Praises Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler

Oklahoma’s quarterback Spencer Rattler started the season off as one of the Heisman Trophy candidates. In the 2020 season, Rattler threw for 3,031 passing yards, throwing for 28 touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 games.

In the first three games, Rattler hasn’t skipped a beat. Against Tulane, Western Carolina and Nebraska, Rattler has thrown for a combined 761 yards, scoring nine total touchdowns (seven passing, two rushing). Rattler turned the ball over twice against Tulane in week one but hasn’t turned it over since.

“The thing about Rattler is his arm talent is so unique,” Brown said. “He can move, he extends plays, they can run even if they want to run they choose not to. He has one of the strongest arms and one of the quickest releases that I’ve seen.”

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year with Blue Gold Sports — an USA Today credentialed outlet. He is from Cincinnati, OH.

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