WVU head coach Bill Stewart explained that he had told his team several times that he would use Jarrett Brown on offense, and that it would come early in the game. But when West Virginia sailed down the field with a conventional attack to take a 7-0 lead, the temptation might have been to stick with what was working. However, Stewart and the coaching staff believed that the long-term benefits of getting Brown in the game with Patrick White, as well as in sticking to his word, were worth the changeup.
"I thought we started well at the first, but we wanted to get Jarrett into the game. I didn't want to go back on what we practiced all week, either. And we wanted Marshall to maybe scramble a little bit on their sideline, too," Stewart explained.
Despite the avowals of Marshall head coach Mark Snyder, who said the Herd was prepared for Brown, the results said otherwise. The junior backup rushed eight times for 78 yards, and also filled in quite nicely when quarterback Patrick White was forced to the sidelines with a reoccurrence of the thumb bruise he suffered against Colorado.
"It worked out well with Jarrett," Stewart said. "I had to tell him, like I do all my quarterbacks, to have fun and stay within the framework of the game plan. I have to remind him to keep his feet under him too. He's a long-legged guy, and sometimes he stretches it out too early. I want him to keep his feet under him early [so he can adjust and move quickly in the pocket] and then stretch it out when he gets in the open field.
"He made some nice runs in crucial situations, especially on third downs, and he averaged 9.8 yards per rush. I thought he passed it well after Pat got hurt."
The thinking on getting Brown in the offense is simple, and one that hearkens back to the attempt to develop other playmakers in the offense – take the load off White and running back Noel Devine.
"We're trying to spread the field with them," Stewart confirmed. "We have to be more than a one-dimensional or two-dimensional football team. That's why we are doing that, and that's why we went to it early."
Even though Brown was used on a variety of plays, both catching and running the ball, that's not the limit of Plan Brown for the Mountaineers. The list of possibilities in the use of Brown and White together is a lengthy one, so it won't be a surprise to see some different wrinkles and plays as the Big East season gets underway.