MORGANTOWN — West Virginia will play what would be the most significant meaningless soccer sport in its historical past when it closes out the 2022 season with a midday sport at Oklahoma State Saturday.
For a sport which appears the Mountaineers don’t have anything to play for, bringing a 4-7 file into Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. The sport will be seen on ESPN2.
The Mountaineers have neither a profitable season nor a bowl sport to play for in opposition to a rival who has been ranked as excessive as No. 6 this yr however has slumped to 7-4 going into its finale. Oklahoma State has gained its final seven in a row in opposition to the Mountaineers, outscoring them 275-155.
But way more rides on this sport than one may suppose, starting with the much-debated way forward for WVU’s head coach, Neal Brown. Brown is ending his fourth season as coach, three of them are dropping seasons.
Brown’s file on the faculty is 21-25 and in convention play he’s 13-21. Considering that Bill Stewart was fired after going 28-12 in 4 years and 15-6 in convention play (given the Big East, not the Big 12), all indicators are pointed towards Brown’s dismissal.
This is particularly true because the man who employed him, athletic director Shane Lyons, has already been dismissed at a value of greater than $2.7 million to the college. But which will work in Brown being given one other yr to show himself as his buyout would price within the neighborhood of $20 million ought to he get replaced earlier than the primary of the yr and $16.7 million in the event that they wait till after Jan. 1.
With a win, the Mountaineers would pull off a street miracle — WVU is 5-13 in Big 12 street video games and have misplaced their final 5 of them.
Brown is taking a practical strategy to the sport along with his gamers.
“Here’s the way I’m dealing with our players. I’m pretty direct with them. I’m up front with them and we’ll deal with that when it happens. Whatever comes we’ll deal with it and deal with it head on,” he stated.
Most of the gamers had been introduced in by Brown and may have their very own selections to make when the smoke clears. It is anticipated, in fact, that ought to Brown lose his job there can be a big exodus into the switch portal.
But there are a variety of gamers who might have their future determined on this sport.
One is quarterback Garrett Greene, who’s scheduled to make his second profession begin off a sport the place he confirmed he might gentle a hearth underneath the offense along with his toes and arm, however who made plenty of essential errors.
Two interceptions led to 14 factors.
Greene’s play can even affect the choice going through opening day quarterback JT Daniels, who got here in with a lot hype and who performed nicely early however confronted. He has a yr out there if he needs to compete for the job.
More urgent is whether or not the highest recruit in final season’s class, quarterback Nicco Marchiol, needs to remain ought to Greene present himself able to run the offense, particularly if a brand new coach is available in.
Certainly, the staff that’s ending this season isn’t the one anticipated when the season opened.
Offensively freshman working again sensation CJ Donaldson is out with a damaged ankle, which has opened the way in which for 3 different working backs to make large inroads on subsequent yr’s job —
Tony Mathis, Justin Johnson Jr. and Jaylen Anderson, who performed himself closely into the combination the previous two weeks with Mathis injured.
“You’re seeing Anderson now,” Brown stated. “I’ve talked the past two years about the talent he has but he’s had to put it all together. He is talented and he’ll get more work this week.”
“Jaylen has been given a whole lot of talent,” added offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, whose destiny is tied to Brown’s, as are all of the assistants. “I’ve only had a few months with him but from when he got here to now, like most people going from high school to college, you just have to grow up a little bit. Knowing he had an opportunity to get some reps made him grow up in a hurry.”
In addition, on offense, WVU has misplaced through the season beginning offensive guard James Gmiter and tight finish Mike O’Laughlin whereas the protection has needed to play all however 4 video games with out preseason all-conference cornerback Charles Woods, who has entered the portal.
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