Neal Brown Wants Clarification on Sam James Non-Touchdown

Christopher Hall

Morgantown, WV – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was clearly frustrated early in the second quarter after officials ruled receiver Sam James short of the endzone that would have tied the game up at seven.

Jarret Doege hit Sam James over the middle and as he was fighting his way fowards for the touchdown, the ball looked like it crossed the goal line. However, the officials immediately ruled him short and then quickly turned over to the replay booth.

After reviewing the play, the officials ruled the play stood as called on the field.

“I don’t really understand it, said Brown. “So, I thought he was in. I thought the replay showed he was in. I don’t know since they called him down, I don’t know if the replay was inconclusive. Something about that they felt like his shin was down. I didn’t see it that way. I don’t know, I’ve got to talk to Greg Burks (Big 12 Coordinator of Officials). I got to get a clear understanding of that.”

The Mountaineers tried consecutive quarterback sneaks to punch it into the endzone that was also ruled short.

“I thought we were pretty close to getting in on the quarterback sneak, on the first one,” said Brown. “Again, I didn’t see it. I’m kind of wondering why they didn’t send that to replay. So, I’ll have to get an explanation on that sequence of plays.”

West Virginia committed a false start penalty on third down that pushed them back to the six (Brown also noted he was trying to call a timeout before the penalty but didn't get there in time). When play resumed, Doege’s elbow was hit as his pass fell short to receiver Isaiah Isdale and the Mountaineers settled for a 22-yard field goal from Evan Staley.

During the timeout, Neal Brown was visibly voicing his frustrations to the officials, but to no avail because it didn’t seem like West Virginia benefited from any future calls. Although it didn’t help, calls made or not made throughout the game were not the reason the Mountaineers lost, and Neal made that clear in his opening statement.

“I think the story of the game came down to the issues that we had all year,” said Brown. “They are the issues that haunted us today; our lack of ability to run the football. We didn’t score touchdowns in the red zone, and we had critical drops.”

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