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Neal Brown’s change from air raid to ground-and-pound has WVU as one of many high speeding groups within the nation

MORGANTOWN — Neal Brown made his identify as a university soccer coach as a disciple of the air raid offense. In 4 of Brown’s first 5 seasons as a play-caller, his groups completed within the high 10 within the nation in passing.

After 4 mediocre seasons at WVU, nonetheless, Brown knew a change was wanted. Now in 2023, Brown has led the Mountaineers (7-4, 5-3 Large 12)  to their greatest season throughout his tenure whereas being the fifth-best speeding staff within the nation with 2,562 yards.

“After I began calling performs again in ‘08, we had a very good run the place we had been high 5 in passing for a number of years and now we’ve sort of flipped it,” Brown stated. “It’s been sort of a 180. I believe that is what’s greatest for this staff.”

West Virginia is coming off of its standout speeding efficiency of the season, working for 424 yards in a 42-21 win over Cincinnati on Saturday.

“For those who requested me 10 years in the past if we had been going to be fourth within the nation in speeding, I in all probability didn’t have the imaginative and prescient for that,” Brown stated Monday. “However we’ve recruited properly on the offensive line, our quarterback is a game-changer, we’ve received a number of working backs that may play and our tight ends have performed a pleasant job. So I believe the items we now have in place proper now, we’re using them in one of the best ways.”

The Mountaineers have three gamers with over 600 yards on the bottom heading into the ultimate sport of the common season this week at Baylor (7 p.m./FS1), working backs CJ Donaldson (775) and Jahiem White (659) and quarterback Garrett Greene (605).

“We’re on the level proper now the place we’re enjoying the way in which we anticipated enjoying coming into the season,” offensive coordinator Chad Scott stated. “From a recruiting standpoint, we’ll proceed to recruit gamers who’re electrical with the ball of their fingers and now have a cell quarterback that may prolong performs and make issues occur past what’s referred to as.”

Greene, particularly, has offered a brand new factor to WVU’s offense. Maybe a relic of Brown’s air raid days, the WVU beginning quarterbacks throughout Brown’s tenure had been all conventional pocket passers previous to Greene. Austin Kendall, Jarrett Doege and JT Daniels we nowhere close to the working threats that Greene is and the success the junior has had this season has satisfied Brown {that a} dual-threat quarterback is the way in which to go.

“For those who return and also you look, it offers you an opportunity,” Brown stated. “When you’ve got a passing quarterback and also you’re enjoying any person that’s extra proficient than you, it’s important to be actually excellent or it’s important to do some issues which can be non-traditional. When you’ve got a twin risk, you don’t need to be as excellent.”

Greene has run for 605 yards and 11 touchdowns this season whereas throwing for 1,909 and 13 extra scores with simply 4 interceptions.

“I believe historical past has confirmed this, the simplest strategy to win right here is with a dual-threat quarterback,” Brown stated. “And the sport’s modified too. I believe there are some modifications within the sport which have pushed us so far too.”

Issues aren’t prone to change as soon as Greene’s time is up both. Backup Nicco Marchiol may run, speeding for 127 yards in slightly over two video games of motion this season, and true freshman Sean Boyle’s best energy can be his legs.

WVU’s quarterback within the 2024 recruiting class is Khalil Wilkins from Higher Marlboro, Md. The Mountaineers secured their quarterback for the 2025 class instantly following the Cincinnati sport when Scott Fox from Mentor, Oh. introduced his dedication. Each are three-star recruits.

“For those who have a look at who we now have dedicated, each of these guys are dual-threat guys and we’re going to proceed to stick with that,” Brown stated.