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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Neal Brown costs West Virginia with coward punt

Neal Brown talks with the media

Oct 23, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown answers questions from the media following their win over the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt beat West Virginia 38-31 in the Backyard Brawl matchup between the rivals on Thursday, and Neal Brown sure didn’t help matters later in the game.

West Virginia took a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter and then got a stop. The Mountaineers got the ball back and moved to midfield. Rather than go for it on 4th-and-1 at the Pitt 48 with 6:17 left, Brown chose to punt.

Pitt responded with a 92-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 31.

Guess what happened next? A dropped pass resulted in a winning pick-six for Pitt. The Panthers went up 38-31 on their interception returned for a touchdown. Then they forced West Virginia to turn the ball over on downs to end the game.

Rather than be aggressive and play to win with an offense that had just gained two yards on 3rd-and-3, Brown went conservative. The call gave Pitt the ball and helped change the momentum.

Maybe next time Brown will play to win.


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