Last Saturday, Neal Brown and the West Virginia Mountaineers went to Ames, Iowa, and were manhandled by the Cyclones, losing 31-14.
“They did a really good job slamming their ends inside on us. We got after them pretty good a year ago and to their credit, they were ready to go,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said. “They had some answers for some things that we did a year ago and they gave us a lot more four-man front. In four years, I don’t remember seeing them in a four-man front as much as they were against us.
“With that said, we have to do a better job of moving our pieces and taking shots down field. We have to convert on third downs. A lot of drops and missed throws we had were on third downs. When you’re in those possession games and neither offense is doing a whole lot, you have to be able to convert third downs, if nothing else for field position.”
The loss dropped West Virginia to 3-6 on the year, and just 1-5 in Big 12 play.
One of the Mountaineers’ main issues this season has been inconsistency away from home on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense. WVU is 0-3 on the road in Big 12 play and has averaged just 14.7 points per game in those contests, while at home they are 1-2 and average 38.7 points per game. Those around the West Virginia program want to know why there is such a stark difference between the offense and home and on the road, but even the head coach is baffled.
“Maybe because we practice in the stadium. I don’t know,” Brown said. “A lot of teams play better at home. Why is that the case? I don’t have a perfect answer for it, but we have played better at home.”
This week against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Mountaineers will have a chance to get back on track offensively, as OU has not been nearly as effective defensively as the team that WVU played last week. Doing so will require quarterback J.T. Daniels to get back in a groove and put last week’s performance behind him.
“JT was just off. He really was,” Brown said. “They got to him and got some pressure up the middle on him. We had some drops there that hurt the quarterback as well. He has to play better. We can do some things to get him some easier completions like move him out of the pocket to help him out.”
Oklahoma and West Virginia will kickoff at 11:00 a.m. CT on Saturday on FS1, with the Sooners currently being favored by eight points.