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Neal Brown Press Conference: Reviewing JMU and Previewing Missouri

Neal Brown gives his thoughts on JMU, his first win and the upcoming opponent, the Missouri Tigers.

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

Tuesday afternoon, Coach Neal Brown held his weekly pregame press conference to review the JMU game, preview the upcoming Missouri game, and answer some questions from the beat writers in attendance.

As per the standard tradition, Coach Brown talked up this week’s opponent and was able to clarify some things they need to work on and what was good from Saturday’s game.

Here are some highlights in bullet form:

Opening Statements

  • Happy with the win but many mistakes to fix and teach from
  • Was proud of how the players dealt with adversity
  • Second half effort was much better
  • Extremely happy with ST, but need better placement on KO and more hang-time on Punt
  • We need to be better stopping the run
  • Physicality was missing on offense, across the board, not just the line
  • Defense had good pressure on QB
  • Defense had very few explosive plays allowed
  • Only real positive on Offense was zero turnovers’s
  • The run game was bad and had several poorly timed penalties
  • Passing game was OK, but had five or six drops

Post Game Awards

  • Special Teams - Exree Loe, Darius Stills
  • Defense - Reuben Jones, graded out at 93
  • Offense - Tevin Bush
  • Offensive Line - Colton McKivitz
  • Community Service - Josh Growden
  • Juice Guy - J.P. Hadley (given to sideline player keeping energy up)
  • Scout Team - Lorenzo Dorr, Sam Cookman, Alonzo Addae

On Missouri

  • They obviously didn’t play their best, expect a different team Saturday
  • Odom’s teams have always responded well to adversity, expects no different this year
  • They have a good offensive unit, usually highly ranked, production starts with Kelly Bryant
  • Has a lot of offensive experience
  • Has explosive Special Team returners

On the first road game

  • Not as much to worry about as first overall game
  • Most of the Staff has played at Mizzou, so there’s a familiarity/comfort level
  • Can’t simulate road game atmosphere, but overall it’s not much different than a home game other than the plane ride

On preparing for a “Cornered Team”

  • We prepare the same, we didn’t play well, we need to be hungry
  • Missouri is in the midst of a five game home stand
  • Wyoming hit two explosive runs from QB, multiple TEs, not good comparison to us
  • Staff tinkered with game plans in summer for the first 4 games

On what was good and bad from Saturday’s game

  • Against JMU, we seemed like more worried about missing assignments than being physical
  • Sills did nice job communicating but needs better pad level
  • We were purposely vanilla, played cautious
  • Exree Loe is proving himself more and more valuable
  • Perimeter blocking was struggling in game after being good in camp
  • Technique needs to improve
  • The best part of Saturday was the team won
  • Played everyone we wanted to
  • Tevin Bush - big performance, been a guy to make big plays, inconsistent
  • Michael Brown was overexcited, needs to handle emotions better
  • Procedure penalties were of varied causes, nothing repeated to be concerned over

On transfers

  • Staff was in culture building mode this summer
  • They were choosy about who was brought in post grad transfers, looking more for good kids, trustworthy
  • When they are comfortable culture is where it needs to be, will evaluate transfers more on talent
  • Character evaluation is about asking the right questions

On only wearing T-shirts during pregame

  • The practice started in Troy due to water weight loss due to heat
  • Kept doing it because the kids felt fresher
  • The option was presented to the Leadership Council and they decided to do it too

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for ongoing coverage throughout the week as we prepare for WVU taking on the Missouri Tigers, Saturday in Columbia, Missouri, Noon ET (11am CT) on ESPN2.