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West Virginia AD gives Neal Brown the vote of confidence after 0-2 start

“Everyone involved knows that the on-field results have not met expectations and absolutely no one is satisfied," WVU AD Shane Lyons said.

With 7:15 to play in their season opener, Neal Brown's West Virginia had the ball -- a 3rd-and-3 at midfield -- and a 31-24 lead in their long-departed rival's house in front of a national, opening night audience. Sixty-seven minutes (plus an overtime session) later, WVU is 0-2 and Brown's AD has to give statements to the media about his job security.

“I know and deeply care that our fans are frustrated with the start of the football season, but so are our coaches and student-athletes, who have busted their tails getting ready for the year,” Lyons said in a statement Monday to The Associated Press. “As athletics director, I am as disappointed as the fans, but I see how much our coaches and players care and want to win and make our fans proud.

“Everyone involved knows that the on-field results have not met expectations and absolutely no one is satisfied. There are 10 games left in the season and the focus is still on getting the results that we all expect.”

West Virginia lost that game to Pittsburgh, then lost at home to Kansas on Saturday. 

The Mountaineers built a 28-14 lead late in the second quarter, but then surrendered a 28-3 run to the Jayhawks and had to scramble to force overtime, needing an 85-yard drive, a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the game's final two minutes.

Kansas opened the extra session with an overtime, then won the game with an 86-yard pick six.

While it may prove to be true that Lance Leipold's Kansas is not Charlie Weis's, David Beaty's or Les Miles's Kansas, that is no longer WVU's concern. West Virginia should get in the win column against Towson on Saturday, but the Mountaineers may not be favored again this season. Their non-conference schedule concludes at former Big East rival Virginia Tech on Sept. 22 (another Thursday night game) before re-opening conference play with a trip to No. 21 Texas and a home date with defending champion No. 17 Baylor.

As it stands, Brown is 17-20 at West Virginia, with an 11-17 mark in Big 12 play. Following a 5-7 debut in 2019, West Virginia went 6-4 and won the Liberty Bowl in 2020. WVU went 6-7 and lost the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in 2021.