Having now completed a third of the regular season — if you can believe that — there is only but one question that needs to be asked about this WVU football team:
Are you not pleased with winning?
The Mountaineers walked off Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday with a 20-13 victory against Texas Tech, a win that got WVU off to a winning start in Big 12 play in 2023.
We say that again: WVU is off to a winning start in Big 12 play in 2023.
Now, we can break that statement down into several sub chapters and discussions on just how impressive or how good WVU’s 3-1 overall record looks in the grand scheme of the scope of college football.
We could also begin a Powerpoint presentation here on whether or not the bulk of the Big 12 is anywhere close to the level its been in recent years.
“That’s a team that was a darling pick of the Big 12 early in the year,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said. “They were picked two or three in a lot of the polls. This was a really good win. If you look at who performs well in the league, you win home games. We had a three-game home stretch and we swept it.”
Truth is, there was nothing pretty about the Mountaineers’ offense against the Red Raiders.
There was nothing worth writing home about a week ago in a win against rival Pitt, yet the bigger picture here is those were wins nonetheless.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Brown said. “I was disappointed with how we played offensively. We’re a tough football team. People will say, ‘Well, it wasn’t pretty and last week wasn’t pretty.’ Win is a win.”
And for the time being, all of that other outside noise about how strong or weak the Big 12 is this year or how vanilla WVU’s offensive scheme seems to be through four games just shouldn’t matter.
Why? Because WVU is finding a defensive resurgence — again, we can argue about how competent Pitt, Duquesne and Texas Tech actually were on offense — and is winning, period.
A year ago, this Texas Tech team did whatever it wanted to in rolling up 594 yards in a 48-10 butt kicking.
“We were embarrassed by Texas Tech last year,” is how Brown put it.
Kansas’ Jalon Daniels first became a somebody in the football world last year courtesy of WVU. A loss to Pitt was a heartbreaker.
At this point last season, WVU fans were giving up on the rest of the season, rightfully so, too.
At this point last season, you would have been begging for ugly wins rather than head-scratching defeats.
Well, that’s what you’re getting right now. Is it not better compared to the alternative?
Of course it is. Is this WVU team going to conjure up memories of Major Harris, Pat White, or even Bruce Irvin, who was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame prior to the game? Absolutely not.
Does that even matter? Given the results of the first four years under Neal Brown, should it even
And here’s something else: If you think the Big 12 is as average this season as I do, you can make a strong case for this WVU program to ugly its way to eight wins in the regular season.
The last time WVU won eight games was 2018, which somehow seems like a lot longer than five years ago.
Would you not take that?
Anything but a “yes” is just unrealistic at this point.
Ugly, conservative, boring and maybe even a lack of options — all of it can be said about this WVU team.
Yet what’s different is the one important thing, the Mountaineers have been mature enough to still find a way to win.