3 Biggest Questions Facing West Virginia Head Coach Neal Brown Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    Coming off a nine-win season and a Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory, what are the biggest questions Neal Brown is set to face at Big 12 Media Days?

    With losing records in three of his first four seasons since he arrived in Morgantown, Neal Brown enjoyed his most successful year at the West Virginia Mountaineers in 2023, which included nine wins and the Big 12’s most productive rushing attack at 228.9 yards per game.

    The four-win year-to-year improvement was the largest for the school since the Mountaineers jumped from three wins in 2001 to nine in 2002, spanning Rich Rodriguez’s first two seasons.

    As he prepares to lead the team into the 2024 college campaign, what are the three biggest questions for Brown at Big 12 Media Days?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Neal Brown at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Can the Run Game Continue To Impress?

    West Virginia led the conference in rushing yards per game and ranked fourth in the country. In an era of college football emphasizing passing, the Mountaineers preferred the ground-and-pound approach by averaging over 43 rushing attempts per game to rank inside the top 10 in FBS.

    True freshman Jahiem White (842 yards), sophomore CJ Donaldson Jr. (798 yards), and starting quarterback Garrett Greene (772 yards) formed a three-headed backfield that was the only one in the country to feature three players that exceeded 700 rushing yards in 2023.

    Despite graduating multi-year starters Zach Frazier and Doug Nester along the offensive line, the unit remains experienced and talented, led by in-state left tackle Wyatt Milum, who can play himself into the discussion to be selected in the first round of the 2025 NFL Draft.

    All told, there should be optimism that West Virginia’s run game has some staying power as an elite component of the offense.

    2) Can Garrett Greene Take the Next Step?

    In his first season as a starter, Greene threw for 2,406 yards and 16 touchdowns while tossing only four interceptions.

    While adding 13 more scores on the ground, Greene ranked in a tie for third in touchdowns among Big 12 players behind only QBs who left the conference this offseason (Oklahoma’s Dillion Gabriel and Kansas State’s Will Howard).

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    WVU added WR Jaden Bray out of the transfer portal from Oklahoma State to a group that includes Hudson Clement, Preston Fox, and Traylon Ray. TE Kole Taylor also returns for a second season to give Greene a reliable target over the middle of the field.

    In games where Greene attempted 25 passes or fewer last fall, West Virginia went 8-0. Conversely, the Mountaineers went 0-4 when their quarterback had to throw over that mark.

    3) How Quickly Can Ty French Make an Impact?

    West Virginia was a strong defense last season, which included a Big 12-leading 33 sacks. Yet that didn’t stop them from making a splash to improve the pass rush by adding FCS standout Ty French out of the transfer portal.

    A three-time All-American at outside linebacker from Gardner-Webb, French has accumulated 239 tackles, 61 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, and 34.5 sacks in his career.

    He is expected to pair with Tyrin Bradley (5.0 TFL in 2023) at the linebacker spot to form a strong unit that will make life harder for opposing Big 12 quarterbacks.

    2024 Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Neal Brown, West Virginia Head Coach

    • Date: Wednesday, July 10
    • Time: 2:40 p.m. ET
    • How to Watch: ESPN+

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