Game Preview: West Virginia football at Houston
West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has a 26-26 record in his fifth season, and the Mountaineers are the 15th winningest program of all time.
West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is currently in his fifth season leading the Mountaineers football program. During his time in Morgantown, Brown has achieved a record of 26-26. Overall, he has a career record of 61-42 as a head coach, spanning nine seasons.
The Mountaineers hold the distinction of being the 15th winningest program of all time. This is a testament to their long-standing success and prominence in college football.
When it comes to games played on October 12th, West Virginia has a record of 6-7. This includes a 3-6 record when playing on the road. The most recent game on this date was in 2019 against Iowa State, which resulted in a loss with a score of 38-14.
In games played on Thursdays, the Mountaineers have a record of 39-33-3. This includes a record of 15-13 in games played on Thursday nights. West Virginia has been particularly successful in Thursday night games, winning 13 out of their last 19 matchups. Overall, the team has a record of 85-75-3 in games played after 5 p.m., with a breakdown of 44-47-1 on the road, 34-17-2 at home, and 7-11 at neutral sites.
One key statistic for West Virginia is their record when winning the turnover battle. Since 2002, the Mountaineers have a record of 97-15 when they come out on top in turnovers. This highlights the importance of ball security and creating opportunities on defense.
Defensively, West Virginia is ranked 10th nationally in third-down defense. They have allowed opponents to convert on only 27.8% of their attempts. Looking at the breakdown by quarter, opponents have converted 30.8% in the first quarter, 34.8% in the second quarter, 25.0% in the third quarter, and 20.0% in the final quarter.
When it comes to playing on artificial turf surfaces, West Virginia has had success. Since 1980, they have a record of 268-126-4 in games played on artificial turf. This suggests that the team is comfortable and performs well on this type of playing surface.
Analyzing the Mountaineers' offensive performance, we can see that they have been effective on different downs. On first down, they have run 144 plays and gained 773 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per play. On second down, they have run 111 plays for 623 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per play. On third down, they have run 65 plays for 312 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per play. Finally, on fourth down, they have run 18 plays for 29 yards, averaging 1.6 yards per play. Touchdowns have been scored eight times on first down, five times on second down, three times on third down, and once on fourth down.
Taking a closer look at the offensive numbers for the 2023 season, West Virginia has run a total of 338 plays. Of these, 225 have been rushing plays, totaling 959 yards and 11 touchdowns. The passing game has accounted for 113 plays, resulting in 778 yards, 6 touchdowns, and an average of 12.5 yards per completion. Combining both rushing and passing, the Mountaineers have accumulated 1,737 yards of total offense, scored 17 touchdowns, and averaged 5.1 yards per play and 26.4 points per game.
Breaking down the first downs gained by the Mountaineers, they have achieved 53 first downs through the run and 33 through the pass. On average, West Virginia has gained 191.8 yards per game on the ground, 155.6 yards per game through the air, and 347.4 yards per game of total offense.
Over the past nine years, West Virginia has been successful in creating turnovers, producing a total of 155 takeaways. This ranks them tied for 38th among Power 5 schools. This ability to create turnovers has been a key factor in their success on the field.
When it comes to their record against current members of the Big 12 Conference, West Virginia has a record of 77-58. They have faced various teams within the conference, with notable records against certain opponents. For example, they have a record of 7-4 against Baylor, 16-3-1 against Cincinnati, and 10-2 against Kansas.
In terms of bowl appearances, West Virginia has been consistently successful. They have made 18 bowl appearances in the last 21 years, only missing out on the 2013, 2019, and 2022 seasons. This places them among a select group of 16 Power 5 schools that have achieved this feat.
The 2023 roster for West Virginia consists of 117 players from 25 different states and four foreign countries. Notably, they have players from Australia, Finland, Sweden, and The Netherlands. The majority of players hail from West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
In terms of coaching assignments, the Mountaineers have a dedicated coaching staff in place. Each coach has specific responsibilities within the team, ensuring that all aspects of the game are covered and managed effectively.
Overall, West Virginia has a rich football history and has achieved success in various areas. From their winning tradition to their performance on specific dates and in certain game situations, the Mountaineers have established themselves as a formidable program in college football.