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West Virginia Football Neal Brown Press Conference: ‘Pat McAfee Is Important Piece of Our History’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways From Saturday

  • The specialists had a good day Saturday.
  • Sinkfield had a good punt return before half
  • We didn’t create negative plays enough and allowed too many rushing yards. 4.7 YPC and 7 yards per play. We didn’t finish game well.
  • The Keith Washington interception was a huge turning point. The team was really good on third down but we didn’t create enough explosive plays offensively.
  • Need to score touchdowns in the redzone. Staley did well on field goals. We were able to control the game, 37 minutes TOP and 85 plays


  • Evan Staley Big 12 STPOW, 34 FG, 4/6 touchbacks
  • We don’t double up awards, so Josh Chandler is special teams POTW.
  • Offensive Line POTW Chase Behrndt.
  • Darius Stills played his best game, is DPOW. Graded out at 94%.
  • POTW Offense is Kennedy McKoy. Instrumental in final drive of half.
  • Scout Team - Drew Joseph and Allonzo Addae and Allenzo Dore
  • Juice Award - Jake Abbot for his air guitar
  • Community Service Award - George Campbell

Offensive Lineman Josh Sills

  • Josh Sills had season-ending surgery and is out for the year. It was a normal football injury. Had a minor injury that kept out early and this injury has been lingering. A medical redshirt will be evaluated down the road

Offensive Play Calling

  • Window dressing to move ball - You have to reinvent yourself every week. Had to do it last year when our starter got hurt (at Troy). It is more than we would normally do.
  • Explosive plays - need to complete the long pass plays. Called 6 or 7 and didn’t connect. We’ve been hit and miss, it’s not a strength of the team. We’re not going to be able to grind out wins against elite explosive teams.

On Offensive Line

  • On Kansas - meant to go 6 or 7 guys on the line. John Hughes continued to play. Mike Brown will get some snaps. Giving snaps to Brandon Yates.
  • Chase Behrndt lost his starting position during fall camp, based on erratic snaps. Came back and played against Missouri. Since moving to right guard spot, he’s taking the coaching. Had two great weeks of practice.

On Kansas Defense and Running Backs

  • Kansas played really physical. They came down and hit both Leddie and Pettaway.
  • Alex Sinkfield - has a bit of a lower leg injury and the bye week will be good for him.
  • We weren’t decisive early and now you’re seeing guys put their foot in the ground and being decisive. You could see Leddie getting his timing back.
  • Pettaway accepted his benching and made the most of it. Got back after it and came back determined.

On Bye Week Work

  • We will work a little bit on Texas this week. The bye week is about efficiency.
  • I knew my mom was watching so I hid my mouth when I got mad (laugh).
  • We knew we were going for two. We scored and everyone was excited and didn’t have the right personnel and had to take the timeout. Without the timeout I think we score, but you don’t want to take a penalty.

On Freshman Receivers and Quarterback

  • Winston Wright and Ali Jennings both will continue to play. Wright played 41 snaps and Jennings played some of the best of the outside receivers.
  • Austin Kendall did a good job managing the game. Drive before half he managed well, but we have to get the ball downfield. We have to improve on all aspects: schematically, getting the ball downfield, blocking and getting open. He’s made marked improvement since the opening game, shaking off rust.

On Pat McAfee

  • Pat McAfee - if you listen to the first part it sounds bad. I listened twice. For the brand, the dude’s killing it. HE’s an important part of our history. I look forward to the day he comes back. Maybe its a football game, maybe its an open weekend.
  • Haven’t evaluated how ESPN+ affects recruiting and being able to check with recruits to see if they watched the team.