After drubbing Eastern Kentucky by 46 points in the season opener, Neal Brown said his football team would get a better gauge of where it stands when it played Oklahoma State.
The Mountaineers have their answer: they lost to OSU 27-13 after putting forth what the head coach called an “extremely disappointing performance.”
“It was a measuring stick, and we didn’t pass this test,” Brown said.
The loss in the Big 12 opener was fueled by several self-inflicted wounds. West Virginia allowed the No. 15 Cowboys to score a 66-yard touchdown run and a defensive touchdown just minutes apart in the second quarter. WVU also committed 12 total penalties — including several at critical moments in the game — scored just six points from a pair of red zone trips and left potentially more points on the field due to a fumbled hold on a field goal attempt in the second quarter.
Oklahoma State, a veteran team that returned nearly all of its defensive starters from 2019, made WVU pay for its many miscues.
“A lot of it has to do with Oklahoma State. They’ve been winning games for a long time, so they understand how to win close games. They understand how to make the routine plays and not beat themselves, and we are not at that point,” Brown said. “That’s the rude awakening from this game, is we are not at that point. So how do we handle the next week? How do we come back after not playing and not competing like we need to compete against one of the top teams in our league?”
There were some positive signs for WVU, including another 100-yard outing by running back Leddie Brown and strong performances from linebacker Tony Fields and defensive back Alonzo Addae.
But as the Mountaineers prepare for a conference clash with Baylor, Brown said they need to learn from the loss.
“I think that we’ve gotta regroup and we’ve gotta handle adversity and we’ve gotta get better,” Brown said. “Most of these guys are gonna be here for three years or more — two, three years. So, this core group that’s playing a lot of football is gonna be here for a long time, and we gotta get better.”
WVU hosts Baylor Saturday at noon at Milan Puskar Stadium.