As Neal Brown said, there wasn’t much to say following West Virginia’s lopsided road loss to Texas Tech on Saturday.
The Mountaineers suffered their most-lopsided loss since 2019, and gave up the third-most points on defense since the start of the 2019 season.
Brown met with the media following the loss.
Two different performances
The WVU head coach called the game a “complete domination” by Texas Tech.
The Red Raider offense outgained the Mountaineers by 300 yards, and the TTU defense held WVU’s rushing attack to just 73 yards on the day.
“I thought [the Red Raiders] were good, and we were equally bad,” Brown said. “Probably as disappointed as I’ve ever been as a football coach in my entire career, especially in the second half.”
Brown stated he felt his group was in an OK place entering the locker room at halftime, despite being down by two touchdowns. Ultimately, though, West Virginia was outscored 31-7 after halftime.
“We showed that we can actually play worse in the second half,” added Brown.
The head coach characterized the offense as “bad,” wasn’t pleased with the physicality and the tackling efforts by the defense, and said special teams “didn’t do anything to change the game.”
Brown summed up the game by saying simply, “We didn’t play well at any position.”
An up-and-down season continues
Saturday’s loss in Lubbock was the latest example of the up-and-down season that Brown and the Mountaineers have played thus far.
West Virginia has dropped two of its last three games by a combined 56 points. Surrounding those two losses are a pair of big wins, one on the road at Virginia Tech, and the other at home over Baylor on a Thursday night.
“This team’s just been a roller coaster. We played really well against a really good football team last week in Baylor and won the game,” Brown said. “And then we played about as bad as we can possibly play the game of football today. And it’s unbelievably frustrating, to say the least.”
The Mountaineers have a +3 turnover margin in their three victories, but now have a -7 turnover margin in the four losses. West Virginia turned the ball over four times on Saturday, including a trio of interceptions by starting quarterback JT Daniels.
Saturday also marked the second time in the last three games that West Virginia was held under 100 yards rushing.
Injuries limit the running game
Two positives for West Virginia on Saturday were the returns of injured playmakers CJ Donaldson Jr. and Charles Woods. However, the Mountaineers were without two playmakers on offense in the second half.
Running backs Tony Mathis Jr. and Justin Johnson Jr. were both kept off the field after halftime due to injuries. Mathis appeared to injure his arm while attempting to brace himself while being tackled in the first half.
Injuries in that position group, and across the board, hampered the Mountaineers Saturday.
“We only had three running backs here. And our travel roster was kind of weird because we had some guys we weren’t sure if they were going to play or not play,” said Brown. “We had to load up a few positions. And you only get 70. And so we only brought three running backs, and then those two got hurt and couldn’t play in the second half.”
Brown stressed that the injuries to Mathis and Johnson did not impact game’s outcome, but he said they did affect how West Virginia ran its offense after halftime.
On defense, the head coach also stated that Woods got “banged up again” in the contest against the Red Raiders. He did not elaborate on Woods’ status.