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WVSports – West Virginia looking to example for turnaround

West Virginia head coach Neil Brown doesn’t shy away from the fact that last year wasn’t good enough.

The football program finished with losing records in three of the four seasons with Brown topping the program and coming off a year where the Mountaineers were 5–7.

So, naturally the football program is looking at all avenues when it comes to turning things around, including equal conditions.

Following the 2021 campaign, TCU also finished 5-7 and 3-6 in the Big 12 with a loss to the Mountaineers as the program searched for answers.

The Horned Frogs elected to undergo a coaching change with longtime head coach Gary Patterson bringing in Sonny Dykes from SMU to the program.

And while there were changes in the coaching staff, there were no massive changes to the overall roster.

Yes, the Horned Frogs were able to secure some pieces from the transfer portal such as a tight end from Texas, a cornerback from Louisiana Monroe, a safety from Colorado, a linebacker from Navy and a center from SMU.

But they also lost some important parts of their roster such as an all-conference defensive lineman in Ochun Mathis and all-conference running back Zack Evans.

“The unique thing about what TCU did and we talked about with our team is that they were a much better football team with no different rosters,” Brown said.

This gives Brown hope that West Virginia can take a similar path without massive roster turnover. The Mountaineers lost some key pieces from the roster, but also brought back players who saw action last season.

The program has also been able to receive a number of significant transfers to fill holes.

The Climbers are looking at more examples where teams have made jumps in short periods of time to see the recipe for overall improvement. And it remains to be seen whether that will happen but the program is looking all the way.

“The lesson to be learned from TCU is how much better the guys on their current roster get from the fall of 2023 to playing in the national championship game,” Brown said. “It’s the story, we use it.”


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