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Neal Brown Recaps the Win Over VT and Names the Players of the Game

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown gives his final thoughts on the win over the Hokies and announces the Players of the Week

Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers are coming off a 33-10 road win over the Virginia Tech Hokies Thursday night. The Mountaineers’ 33 points is the most the program had scored in Blacksburg, and it was the most lopsided win WVU had achieved inside Lane Stadium in the series.

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown met with the media on Tuesday in preparation for the Mountaineers’ matchup versus Texas on Saturday and recapped the win over Tech top open the press weekly press conference.

“That’s a tough place to play,” said Brown. “It’s the first time I’ve been there - It’s a good atmosphere. I thought our fans, they came they stayed, it was a lot of fun there at the end getting the Black Diamond Trophy and it will be here for the foreseeable future.

Sep 22, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive lineman TyJuan Garbutt (45) grabs West Virginia Mountaineers tight end CJ Donaldson (12) as Hokies linebacker Dax Hollifield (4) and defensive lineman Jaylen Griffin (41) close in during the second half at Lane Stadium.

Sep 22, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive lineman TyJuan Garbutt (45) grabs West Virginia Mountaineers tight end CJ Donaldson (12) as Hokies linebacker Dax Hollifield (4) and defensive lineman Jaylen Griffin (41) close in during the second half at Lane Stadium.

The Mountaineers claimed an early 3-0 lead before Virginia Tech constructed a eight-play 77-yard touchdown and jumped out front 7-3. However, West Virginia scored 10 answered points to take a 13-7 advantage into the halftime.

The two traded a pair of field goals in the third before the Mountaineers took over with 17 fourth quarter points to clinch consecutive wins over the Hokies.

“I thought we had a good plan in all three phases,” said Brown. “I thought they handled adversity really well. I thought they handled the short week well and it was a complete win. We did some really positive things in all three phases.”

Kicker Casey Legg hit four field goals on the night and hit all three extra points, earning Special Teams Player of the Week.

“He outscored Virginia Tech by himself. Really, some timely kicks and he’s done a better job of getting lift on the ball,” said Brown.

Sep 22, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers place kicker Casey Legg (48) kicks a field goal from the hold of place kicker Danny King (39) as Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Armani Chatman (9) tries to block during the second half at Lane Stadium.

Freshman defensive back Jacolby Spells claims Defensive Player of the Week after sealing the win with a pick six with just under 10 minutes left in the game.

“We’ve been talking about making plays, and he was aggressive, jumped in front of the ball there and really clinched the victory with a pick six,” said Brown.

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Freshman CJ Donaldson hit the century mark for the third time in four games, rushing for 106 yards on 23 carries to claim Offensive Player of the Week.

“He had three receptions, had two really nice blitz pickups – he continues to be a high-end player,” said Brown.

Center Zach Frazier earned Offensive Lineman of the Week.

“Assignment-wise, he was perfect. Graded out at 100%. Had almost double-digit knockdowns – he’s playing at a really high level,” Brown said.

Jordan Jefferson has played big in the middle of the defensive line, and on a critical fourth and one with the Hokies drive in WVU territory, met Hokie quarterback Grant Wells at the line of scrimmage along with teammate Darius Stills for no gain, giving the Mountaineers the momentum and the ball. For his efforts, he attained Defensive Player of the Week and Blue Collar Athlete of the Week.

“JJ’s playing really well inside. He’s strong, he’s getting movement, he’s making it difficult for people to run the football.”

In addition to Jefferson offensive lineman Doug Nester also garnered Blue Collar Player of the Week.

“That’s an emotional game for him. I haven’t been in that situation, but I can imagine,” said Brown. “He’s really played two really good football games versus those guys in the last two years. He played at a high-level, graded out at the second highest offensive lineman.”

The Mountaineers are back in action Saturday night in Austin, TX to take on the Texas Longhorns at 7:30 p.m. EST and the game will broadcast on FS1. 

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