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COLUMN: The Mountaineers know they solely have themselves responsible

Neal Brown didn’t come out of Thursday night time’s beautiful loss to Houston feeling sorry for himself or his group.

The Cougars’ game-winning 49-yard Hail Mary was nothing wanting a miracle, however Brown is aware of that one play, even a play as spectacular as that, doesn’t determine a soccer recreation.

As a substitute, Brown was upset following the loss as a result of he knew his group had spent all night time beating itself.

“We didn’t lose the sport on the final play of the sport,” Brown mentioned. “We had a number of probabilities to win the sport and we didn’t do it…The place we misplaced the sport is self-discipline. That’s what has gotten us thus far and we weren’t a disciplined group (Thursday).”

Each time the Mountaineers had an opportunity to take management of the sport Thursday, they did one thing to present Houston an opportunity. Whether or not it was permitting a 100-yard return on their first kickoff or having a landing that may have put them up 10 factors within the second half flip into an interception. 

“This isn’t a deal the place I’m heartbroken that we misplaced the sport on the final play,” Brown mentioned. “We win as a group and lose as a group and we didn’t play effectively…We had a number of probabilities to take management of the sport within the second and third quarter and we didn’t.”

Even after scoring the go-ahead landing with simply 12 seconds left, the Mountaineers bought in their very own manner. Quarterback Garrett Greene’s unsportsmanlike penalty for taking his helmet off in celebration moved the following kickoff again 15 yards, permitting Houston to start out its last drive in vary for the Hail Mary shot.

“That’s 100% on me,” Greene mentioned. “For us to be a extremely good soccer group, like I do know we’re, the quarterback can’t make dumbass errors like that. I messed that one up. In the event that they’re 15 yards again then the final play in all probability doesn’t occur in order that’s on me.”

“The celebration penalty after the final landing is type of a microcosm, to me, of the sport,” Brown mentioned. “If we don’t get that celebration penalty, which is totally asinine for us to take our helmets off, that gave them the chance to get into scoring place.”

Even WVU’s usually-stout specials groups faltered on Thursday. Houston had greater than double the kick return yards as West Virginia and began six drives past its gained 30-yard line. WVU solely had such subject place thrice and began 5 drives inside its personal 20.

“It’s disappointing as a result of on offense we type of managed the sport,” Brown mentioned. “In the event you take a look at the stat sheet it doesn’t make sense, however that’s why you play the sport. We simply completely didn’t play effectively sufficient on protection and particular groups to win the sport.”

If there have been any positives to take out of the beautiful loss, it’s that the Mountaineers appeared to grasp why they misplaced. There was no finger-pointing, no complaining. All three gamers who spoke to the media after the sport held themselves accountable and vowed to be higher, beginning with Greene.

“I simply bought caught up in my feelings,” Greene mentioned of his penalty. “I’ve to be extra mature than that and I’ve to be higher than that…I simply should be a sensible soccer participant. It was a dumbass mistake by me and I’ll be taught from it and be higher.”

The opposite two gamers, receiver Hudson Clement and edge rusher Jared Barlett, talked about accepting the loss and having the ability to transfer on from it.

“This doesn’t outline us,” mentioned Clement, who caught Greene’s 50-yard landing to take the lead with 12 seconds to play. “I feel if we simply stick collectively, don’t level fingers and hold enjoying the ball we’ve been enjoying, we’ll be simply nice for the remainder of the season.”

“It sucks,” Barlett added, “however we are able to’t let this outline us. It’s all about how we reply in opposition to Oklahoma State subsequent week.”

On the finish of the day, WVU continues to be 4-2 on the season and in a significantly better spot than most individuals had been predicting it will be after six video games. 

Bouncing again from this loss would be the final take a look at for this group. In the event that they collapse, then we’ll know the four-game successful streak was extra luck than ability. If they arrive out higher and proceed to point out the enhancements that they did by way of the primary 5 video games, then we’ll know they really are pretty much as good of a group as they declare to be.