The West Virginia Mountaineers cruised to a 66-0 victory over the LIU Sharks on Saturday. Head coach Neal Brown laid out his final thoughts on the team’s performance during his weekly press conference.
The goal, outside of winning the game, was to get as many players reps as possible, and they were able to do that after posting a 38-0 halftime lead, 80 Mountaineers saw action.
“Achieved most of what we wanted to achieve in that game,” said Brown. “A lot of people got reps. I thought it was a relatively clean football game overall.”
On special teams, Winston Wright Jr. returned the opening kickoff untouched for 90 yards and the touchdown.
“The kickoff return was huge. I thought the thing was really well blocked,” said Brown. Also, noting the blocked field goal in the second quarter.
“I think our kickoffs with Staley and with Colton McGhee were much better.
“There’s some things we got to clean up in punt return. I wasn’t pleased with that, continued Brown.”
The Mountaineer defense only allowed 95 yards of total offense and nine first downs.
“Defense had a shutout - less than 100 yards [allowed]. I think anytime you do that, that’s a good day. Fundamentally, we’re still not as good as we need to be,” he said. "We got to have better situational awareness. I thought our communication was better than week one."
Offensively, West Virginia scored on its first eight possessions, including driving 53 yards in under 30 seconds to get into field goal position.
“We were very good on third downs (10-16) and fourth downs (3-5) and in the red zone while the ones and twos were there,” said Brown. We’ve got to improve on our physicality. It’s still not where we need it to be. And we had a couple of mental errors in pass protection there on the first two drives that shouldn’t happen that (quarterback) Jarret Doege made nice plays to get out of them. We had one sack, but we have to be better in pass protection.”
Brown announced the Players of the Week. The staff does not announce the awards after a loss, but the last two games went into consideration this week.
Defensive Scout Team
Will Schoonover – “Led us out carrying the American Flag. He did a great job for us last week. That was a neat deal for him.
Offensive Scout Team
Mark Rucker – “He did a great job, really over two weeks.
Winston Wright – “He’s right there at the top in the country in kickoff returns. I thought he’s done a phenomenal job the first two weeks of that.”
Sam James – “He had two touchdowns in the game on Saturday, but he’s been extremely effective through two games.
Jackie Mathews – “Through two games, he’s been our best tackler, he’s played with the most energy, he’s played with an edge. I really like what Jackie’s doing on the defensive side of the ball.”
Zach Frazier – “Played well through two weeks. He’s got almost double the production points as the next offensive lineman. So, pleased with his play.”
West Virginia hosts the No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies Saturday at noon and broadcasting on FS1.
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