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Three things West Virginia coach Neal Brown said ahead of WVU’s game against OSU

Neal Brown may have held his final press conference of game week wearing the West Virginia colors on Tuesday.

The Brown’s Mountaineers go into their game against Oklahoma State Saturday at 11:00 am at Boone Pickens Stadium with a record 4-7, putting WVU out of bowl contention. Here are three things the West Virginia coach said to his press.

1. What happens “next week”.

Saturday’s game against the Cowboys appears to be the last game of the Neal Brown era in West Virginia.

West Virginia fired athletic director Shane Lyons earlier this month, likely also signaling the end of Brown’s tenure. The new AD will likely want to start his tenure with a football coach of his choice. On Saturday, Brown carries a 21-25 record in four seasons in West Virginia.

In his opening remarks at this week’s press conference, Brown spoke somewhat indirectly about what “next week” will be like if the Mountaineers aren’t bowl-eligible.

“I know you all want to ask a lot of questions about next week,” Brown said. “And that’s how I deal with our players, I’m pretty open – pretty direct with them. We’ll take care of it when it happens. Whatever comes, we’re going to deal with it, and we’re going to face it head-on. But right now, Oklahoma State is all about giving our guys the best shot and opportunity to win the game, and I think you have to deal with that.

“I’ve been talking to them about it for the last three weeks, it was, ‘Hey, be where your feet are.’ Next week is a big week in many ways, but there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re done, and I think how you’re done says a lot about who you are as an individual. We expect to finish the right way, individually and collectively, as employees and as a football team.”

2. With No Bowl, expect young people to get a peek

With no bowl (and no bowl practice) to gain more experience for their younger players, the Mountaineers could get some new looks at the Cowboys this weekend.

Brown was asked about freshman quarterback Nicco Marchiol and if there is a plan to bring him in this week. Brown said that Garrett Greene would start as a sophomore at quarterback for the Mountaineers, but he hasn’t turned down the opportunity to include Marchiol.

Marchiol was the No. 289 player in the 2022 recruit class, a four-star prospect with bids for Georgia, Michigan, USC, Florida, Florida State and others. But it looks like the possibility of West Virginia engaging young people goes beyond the Mountaineers’ signal caller.

“We’ll talk about that,” Brown said. “We will talk about it and ask if we go. I think not just Nicco but a lot of younger players. … We are allowed to travel more players for a game in our league. We will travel more players. We’re going to intentionally bring in a couple of people that we want to redshirt, who we’re going to play as redshirt, but will have games, we’re going to intentionally bring them in — special teams, offense and defense.

3. The Cowboys walk like Sanders walks

OSU’s faith in Spencer Sanders is evident even on the country roads.

Sanders has accounted for 25 of the Cowboys’ 45 touchdowns this season, throwing for 17 and running for another eight. If he plays well, so do the cowboys.

“As Spencer Sanders goes, they go,” Brown said. “He’s been a bit bruised, didn’t play his best game last week but I expect he’ll recover. I think he played about as well as I saw him earlier this year and they played offensively.

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