Stunned. Disbelief. Jubilation. Exhilaration. All those emotions come to mind when you think about the 2023 game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Baylor Bears. This game was supposed to be easy. It wasn’t. West Virginia was supposed to roll and finish with a statement. They didn’t but did. There is stuff to unpack so let’s get this suitcase on the bed and start yanking.
Garrett Greene & Jahiem White
What’s the old adage about the tortoise and the hare - slow and steady gets you stewed in tomato sauce and peppers? Screw being slow and steady - White and Greene provide West Virginia with something the team has needed for the five years, SPEED. Greene finishes the regular season with 2,886 total yards (2178 passing - 708 rushing). Jahiem White finishes 902 total yards (792 rushing - 110 receiving). White averaged 9.02 yards per touch. Greene averages 7.90 yards per touch.
I want to make sure I don’t forget this, but you likely watched the end of Frazier’s career at West Virginia last night and his final play was one of the most unselfish plays you will ever see. West Virginia, down 4 with less than a minute to play, working through a hurry-up two-minute drill offense has completed a play and is looking to get setup to run another. Frazier is hurt. He is hurt badly. The results have come back that he likely has broken his ankle and is out 8-10 weeks. Instead of laying on the ground and requiring medical staff, Frazier wills himself off the field. This act is critical to West Virginia because of their lack of timeouts. Had the medical staff been required to come out and help Zach off the field, something no one would have blamed him for given the severity of his injury, the rules require a 10 second runoff. It also would have allowed Baylor to reset their defense and given them a breather. Zach, you are true Mountaineer and we wish you the best in your NFL future and look forward to seeing you dominate for a long time.
388 yards per game - 83rd
27.2 Points per game - 77th
146.64 rush yards per game - 58th
242.2 pass yards per game - 102
West Virginia needs a new defensive coordinator. Neal Brown has turned into Dana Holgorsen 2.0. All offense, no defense.
West Virginia finishes in a three-way tie for fourth place. Texas will be the #1 seed going to the Big 12 Championship game with a 8-1 conference record. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma finish with identical 7-2 records but OSU will go to the Championship Game thanks to their head to head win over Oklahoma. Texas - 1, Okie Lite - 2, Oklahoma - 3.
West Virginia finishes in a three-way tie with Iowa State and Kansas State at 6-3. Due to tiebreakers, West Virginia finishes below the Cyclones and Wildcats. Ultimately, at 8-4 (6-3), the Mountaineers finishes in sixth place. It’s not 14th!
I’m going to leave this article short and I apologize that its so short, but rather than spend another 500-700 words on things we’ve discuss I’ll do some deep dives coming into the next few weeks. West Virginia will not be playing in the conference championship game and bowl matchups will not be announced for a week or more. We’ve got time to start digging.
Neal Brown will return in 2024 unless he chooses to take another job. He isn’t going to get extended because it doesn’t make sense for either party. West Virginia doesn’t really want to extend a coach who is 30-29 and needed a miracle to beat a 3-8 team. If they did extend him, they would want to reduce his buyout to make it more favorable for the school. Neal Brown would never take an extension that makes it easier to fire him next year. Don’t expect an extension unless one of the parties loses their mind and forgets the leverage they currently have.
Something to keep an eye out will be coaching changes, but I don’t think you’ll see anything next week.
I’ll leave with this - who do you want to play in the bowl game? What opponent makes you stay up til midnight watching this team?