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COLUMN: WVU can battle for greater than only a Bowl Recreation this season

The final time WVU followers noticed their workforce play at house, the Mountaineers have been collapsing within the fourth quarter of a 48-34 loss to Oklahoma State.

Head coach Neal Brown stated his workforce wanted to redeem itself when it returned house this week and redeem themselves the Mountaineers did.

WVU performed its finest recreation of the season in beating the BYU Cougars, 37-7, and have become bowl-eligible within the course of.

“We didn’t speak about it, I didn’t even say something about it within the locker room,” Brown stated of turning into bowl-eligible. “The perfect groups play their finest in November, and that was one of the best recreation we’ve performed this 12 months.”

The Mountaineers performed strong protection early within the 12 months and have been enjoying effectively on offense currently, however Saturday was the primary time the workforce did each in the identical recreation.

“Actually an excellent win for us,” Brown stated. “I assumed it was a whole recreation. The final two weeks we’ve performed what we name ‘good soccer’ and right now was most likely our most full recreation the place we’ve performed good in all three phases.”

The Mountaineers weren’t good both — quarterback Garrett Greene solely accomplished 50% of his passes, for instance — however all three phases performed effectively sufficient to mix for the workforce’s greatest blowout win in years.

“I believe it was solely a matter of time,” Greene stated. “We haven’t actually performed actually good in all three phases (in the identical recreation).”

Reaching six wins within the first week of November additionally places the Mountaineers able they haven’t been in for fairly a while. As a substitute of enjoying out the remaining three contests preventing to make a bowl recreation, the Mountaineers are actually preventing to make the Large 12 Championship recreation.

“We’re alive and effectively within the convention race,” Brown stated. “That’s what we’re speaking about. Clearly, a giant recreation subsequent week to proceed to play our method in.”

The Mountaineers are certainly one of seven groups within the Large 12 with just one or two convention losses. With a recreation in opposition to Oklahoma subsequent week, the Mountaineers might forge a path to look within the championship recreation in December.

“We’re nonetheless within the working for the Large 12 championship recreation,” famous freshman linebacker Ben Cutter,  “that’s our final purpose.” 

With three video games left on the schedule and a bowl recreation look already clinched, WVU has already matched its earlier excessive for many wins (six) and most convention wins (4) in a season beneath Brown.

“I believe we’re beginning to hit our stride,” Brown stated. “I believe the story on this season is much from written.”

It’s taken 5 seasons, however that is the purpose Brown has been constructing in the direction of since taking on in 2019. Whereas followers have been bitter on Brown for a lot of the final two years, there was apparent progress made this season that the Mountaineers may be happy with.