Category Archives: 2015 Game Highlights

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WVU Football Closes Season with Win at Cactus Bowl

The Mountaineers defeat the Arizona State Wildcats 43 – 42

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 9 13 14 7 43
ASU 3 15 14 10 42


After a season of ups and downs, WVU football defied the odds and made it to the 2016 Cactus Bowl. With 2:19 left in the fourth quarter, Skyler Howard threw a 15-yard pass to David Sills to get the victory over Arizona State.

Howard’s arm was able to dominate most of the game, throwing against one of the worst pass defenses in college football. Of the 672-yards gained from WVU’s passing game, 532 of those yards came directly from Howard. His performance on Saturday allowed him to achieve the second-best passing yardage in the Mountaineer football program history, falling short of Geno Smith with 656-passing yards.

The Sun Devils were up for most of the game, and during the fourth quarter, completed a 52-yard touchdown with a pass connection between ASU QB Mike Bercovici and WR Gary Chambers. The touchdown brought the Sun Devils back into the lead. In a move that ASU head coach, Todd Graham, would later call a mistake, Arizona State kicked a field goal, rather than going for the 2-point conversion. This allowed WVU the opportunity to close the game with a 1-point victory.

Shelton Gibson closed the game as the top receiver with 143-yards under his belt. Closely following Gibson were Ka’Raun White with 116-yards and Daikiel Shorts with 97-yards. Wendell Smallwood, who has been toping charts all season, once again led the Mountaineer rushers by carrying the ball 13 times for a total of 72 yards. Smallwood will close the season with 1,519 rushing yards, topping all WVU backs since Steve Slaton in 2006 with 1,744-yards.

Game Hero

Though at times fans questioned whether Howard was qualified for the job, he managed to close the season with a winning season, a win at the Cactus Bowl, and with the 5th most passing yards of any West Virginia quarterback in the history of the program.

Howard completed 221 of 403 passes for 3,145=passing yards and a total of 24 touchdowns. Though the 14 interceptions on the season is lack-luster, Howard effectively led his team through a rough October schedule, into recovery as they went on a 4-game winning streak in November, and ultimately to defeat the Sun Devils in the Cactus Bowl.

Game Highlights

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WVU Football Loses Close battle with Kansas State

West Virginia falls 23-24 on the road against Kansas State

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 3 10 7 3 23
KSU 0 3 14 7 24

It seemed to be the year that WVU football would defeat Kansas State for the first time since joining the Big 12. The Mountaineers came out strong to begin the game, dominating the first half. Though the Kansas State defense was able to hold West Virginia to only one touchdown in the first half, the Skyler Howard-to-Jovon Durante 24-yard pass kept the Mountaineers competing on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

It looked as though WVU football would get a little bit more help in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Kansas State starting QB Joe Hubener ran for four-yards before going down with an injury, forcing Hubener to leave the game after completing only 6 of his 19-passes. With that, K-State was forced to put wide receiver Cody Cook in as their QB. What may have been game-ending for the Wildcats turned out to be a contributing factor to the eventual Mountaineer defeat. On his first play, Cook connected a pass with Kyle Klein, putting Kansas State at the West Virginia 12-yard line. three, short plays later, Cook ran the ball in for Kansas State’s first touchdown of the game.

Though the Mountaineers had out-gained the Wildcats 447-304, achieved 7 more first downs, and went into halftime leading by 10-points, the Kansas City special teams was able to wrap it up and defeat WVU football by a single point. Some of the struggle came with West Virginia’s passing game, with Howard only completing 19 of 42 attempts. The past four winds from WVU came from their strong running game. Jordan Thompson achieved the most catches (5) for 127-yards for West Virginia and Daikiel Shorts Jr. combined with Howard for seven catches and 68-yards. But it wasn’t enough to get the Mountaineers on a 5-game winning streak.

The good news? WVU football is still going to a bowl game! Your West Virginia Mountaineers will be meeting with Arizona State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl on January 2, 2016. Make sure your family is ready to cheer on your favorite team with gear from Mountaineer World under your Christmas tree this year!

Game Heroes

Though the Mountaineers tried to make the most of their passing game on Saturday, Wendell Smallwood earns our game-day hero title once again. Smallwood has been the Mountaineers’ top running back all season and continued to show his leadership, technique, and skill on Saturday against the Wildcats.

Falling just behind Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington for the Big 12 rushing title, Smallwood ended his regular season with 1,447 yard – 8 points short of Washington. 141 yards of that total was earned in 25 carries against the Wildcats of Kansas State. In addition to his yardage, Smallwood was able to contribute a touchdown to his team after a 14-yard run into the end one in the third quarter. He was named Big-12 Offensive Co-Player of the Week.

Game Highlights

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WVU Football Remains Bowl Eligible

WVU Football Concludes Home Game Schedule with Win Over Cyclones

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 7 6 10 7 30
ISU 0 6 0 0 6

Game Overview

WVU Football ended this season’s home game schedule with a four game winning streak after defeating Iowa State at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday, November 28th. The win came after some odd, lack luster fake punt attempts from ISU Head Coach Paul Rhoads who had nothing to lose as he was given notice that he would not be the Cyclones Head Coach next season following their loss to Kansas State. Despite Iowa State’s fake punt attempts – two of which were successful against West Virginia’s punt return team – WVU struggle to keep their head above water until halfway through the 3rd quarter. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen commented after the game, “Glad that’s over,” as he spoke about his team’s performance on Saturday.

After stopping the Cyclones’ first possession of the second half, the Mountaineers began to pull further ahead. Josh Lambert sent both a 34-yard field goal on the board, setting the score at 16-6. Starting quarterback Skyler Howard followed suit, running 32-yards for a touchdown after Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood combined with Howard for an 83-yard scoring drive to put the Mountaineers within scoring distance.

The third fake punt attempt met with misfortune for the Cyclones as they went against the WVU defense. WVU got the ball at the ISU 15-yard line a Shell was able to carry it into the end zone for a touchdown.

The West Virginia defense carried their stellar performance from the shutout victory over Kansas with 3 turnovers and 5 sacks.

WVU remains bowl eligible after Saturday’s win. Both Fox Sports and CBS Sports predicts West Virginia to play in the Cactus Bowl on Jan. 2 against California in a Big 12, PAC 12 match-up. ESPN projections for West Virginia put them in either the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl against LSU or the Cactus Bowl with California. The experts at SB Nation also have West Virginia appearing in the Cactus Bowl, but facing USC in Tempe, Arizona.

Do you think WVU will be heading to a bowl game this year? If so, let us know in the comments where you think our Mountaineers will be heading.

Game Heroes

Saturday’s best performance was given by the entire West Virginia defense. Coming off of a shut out victory over the Jayhawks on Saturday, November 21st, the WVU defense continued their strong performance against ISU on Saturday.

The defense finished the game on Sataurday with 5 sacks, a 3 turnovers against the Cyclones. WVU was able to hold Iowa State at 284 yards, while the offense put up 415 yards against the Cyclones. The opposition averaged a mere 3.5 yards on 80 plays.

Game Highlights

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WVU Football Earns Shut Out Victory Over Jayhawks

WVU Football is Bowl Game Eligible After Win Over Kansas City

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 28 14 7 0 49
KU 0 0 0 0 0

Game Recap

WVU Football earned its first shutout victory since 2012, the year they joined the Big 12 conference. The Kansas City Jayhawks have been through a trying season, featuring a roster made-up of mostly true freshman and redshirt freshman, and you could tell the inexperience when the Mountaineers took the field. Of West Virginia’s first six possessions, the team capitalized on four of them.

A gusty wind blanketed Kivisto Field Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but that didn’t keep the Mountaineers down as Terrell Chestnut forced the Jayhawks Tre’ Parmalee to fumble, which kicked off the Mountaineers’ scoring with a Rushel Shell touchdown several plays later. Chestnut came up big for WVU on the next play when he caught an interception from Kansas City QB Ryan Willis and brought it back for the second touchdown of the game.

West Virginia continued their first quarter scoring run with two more touchdowns that came by way of their running backs. Though the West Virginia running game has been getting stronger throughout the season, it climaxed against Kansas City on Saturday. Skyler Howard was also able to get in on the running game in the beginning of the second quarter as he weaved his way through the Jayhawk defense for a 42-yard gain. At the 3-yard line, Howard threw a short pass to Cody Clay in the back of the end zone to put the Mountaineers up 35-0.

On the next possession, Howard chose to take it in himself from the nine with about 5 minutes to go in the first half. The question after the first half wasn’t if West Virginia would take the game, but if for the first time since 1969, would the Mountaineers have three 100-yard rushers in the same game.

At the end of the third quarter, it happened. After Howard collected his 100-yards by the end of the second quarter, Wendell Smallwood had collected his 100 by the beginning of the third, leaving Rushel Shell. With two minutes left on the board during the third quarter, Shell ran the ball for 19 yards to earn 102 rushing yards and complete the trifecta.

By the conclusion of the game, the Kansas City Jayhawks were leaving with a loss, and the Mountaineers were able to say that they are bowl eligible yet again under Head Coach Dana Holgerson. Exactly what bowl game will remain undetermined until WVU finishes regular season play, but we know Mountaineer Nation will be excitedly awaiting the announcement.

 Game Heroes

With a first in 46 years, the heroes of the game would have to go to the three 100-yard rushers against Kansas City. Howard, Smallwood, and Shell combined for a fierce trio that couldn’t be stopped against the inexperienced Jayhawks.

Howard not only ran an amazing rushing game, but completed 13 of 22 passes including a touchdown despite the vicious wind during play. Smallwood and Shell came through early in the game, guaranteeing a Mountaineer victory before the end of the first quarter.

Unsung Heroes

We can’t forget the explosive start to the WVU shutout victory. Chestnut kicked the game off in high fashion, making plays to ensure WVU would earn a win. When a player comes out the way Chestnut did to start the game, they set the tone for the entire team for the remainder of the game.

Since struggling with an upsetting October schedule, WVU needs players who can pick the team up and set them back on the right path again, and Chestnut’s timing couldn’t have been better. With the win, WVU will continue play into Bowl season this year.

WVU football continues play on Saturday November 28th at 12PM against Iowa State at home. Be sure to make it into Mountaineer World before the game to get geared-up for another Mountaineer win!

Game Highlights

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WVU Football Gets the Win Against Texas Tech

WVU Football Unites to Defeat Texas Tech 31 – 26

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 7 10 7 7 31
TTU 7 7 3 9 26

Game Recap

In the first time this season, and perhaps the first time in a long time – WVU football came together, united on all fronts, to guarantee themselves a win against Texas Tech. Against a team who was able to put up 52-points against TCU and 53-points on Oklahoma State, the Mountaineers were able to shut their scoring down. The defense worked hard to prevent the score from turning to the Red Raiders favor, but this time they weren’t alone in doing so.

The offensive running game from West Virginia was outstanding Saturday against Texas Tech. Wendell Smallwood ran for a season-high 163-yards, earning a touchdown from 16-yards out for the Mountaineers. Rushel Shell also came up big for the Mountaineer, with 111-yards and two touchdowns from a short distance. Of the 449-yards WVU was able to gather, 300 of them came from runs. All-in-all, the Mountaineers were able to play a complete, united game of football on Saturday. Against a team that may become eligible for a bowl game after their game against Kansas State, this win could set the tone for the remainder of the season for WVU.

While the offense ran the ball against a defense who has only allowed about 270-yards against the per game, the defense was also hard at work stopping the Texas Tech offensive. The Red Raiders were only able to walk away from Saturday’s game with 378-yards, falling well-short of their season average of 603-yards.

Skyler Howard completed 12-of-23 passes – however five of his passes completed to Ka’Ruan White for 80 yards.

Game Heroes

It’s hard to name just one hero in the win over Texas Tech. However, there are a few names who come to mind when you think about Saturday’s game.

Smallwood’s running game accounted for much of the Mountaineer victory. During the second half – and a close score – Smallwood took the ball from the Texas Tech 47 to the 129-yard line in 3 consecutive runs after a personal fowl by the Red Raiders. Howard attempted a pass to Jovon Durante that fell incomplete, before returning to Smallwood on the next play. Smallwood ran the football to the 19-yard line, earning perhaps the most important third down of the game.

Smallwood was given the ball again and again achieved significant yards, landing the Mountaineers at the 6-yard line. Howard attempted a short run into the end zone, which didn’t result in a TD, but did force a personal foul when his helmet was removed by Micah Awe during play. Howard was able to run the clock out, taking a knee 3 times and ending the game with a score of 31-26.

Preparing for Texas

After a rough October schedule, no one was expecting the Mountaineers to pull together and finish the rest of the season on a positive note. However, West Virginia was able to unite and defeat a team that may be bowl-eligible after next Saturday’s game.

The Mountaineers could have come into the game against Texas Tech with their heads down and no one would blame them after their performance through October. Fortunately for Mountaineer fans, the WVU Football team has finally, after 4 consecutive losses, played a full game of football. All four quarters, down the the very last minutes of the game the offense, defense, and special teams began and completed every play as if the next point determined the win. It’s that drive and a winning attitude that will carry the team to victory over Texas on November 14th at noon.

What do you think our mountaineers have to do to guarantee a win on the road against the Longhorns?

Game Highlights

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October Schedule Proves Too Much to Handle for WVU Football

WVU falls 38-62 to No. 2 Baylor on the road

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 0 10 0 0 10
OSU 17 6 14 3 40

Game Recap

WVU football concludes their overwhelmingly brutal October schedule with a 10-40 loss to 5th ranked TCU on Thursday October 29th. TCU’s quarterback Trevone Boykin performed so well, in fact, he got a high-five after going out of bounds from West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgerson in a show of both respect and confusion at what he just witnessed. Holgorsen was quoted saying, “He made one of the best plays I’d seen in awhile. He was right there, so I  didn’t know what the hell else to do.”

Unfortunately, this loss by West Virginia was a messy one that the team, coaching staff, and fans can’t blame solely on the difficulty of the schedule. Similar to the three games previous to Thursday night’s loss, the Mountaineers didn’t show up for the first half of the game. Mistakes made on both the offensive and defensive line lead to a lopsided score that should not have been as devastating as it was in the end.

TCU opened the game when Boykin threw a 17-yard pass to Josh Doctson for a touchdown. The next play ended in a touchdown when Boykin ran the ball in from the two, flipping over Nana Kyeremeh for the touchdown. Nine more points went on the board for TCU in the first half. The Mountaineer’s only touchdown of the game came early in the second quarter as Skyler Howard connected a 32-yard pass with Shelton Gibson on the receiving end. A field goal by Josh Lambert with about 5 minutes left in the second quarter were the last points WVU would see on the board that game.

Mistakes by the West Virginia defense kept the ball deep in their own territory with seconds remaining in the first half. Kyeremeh was called for holding, which forced a punt by Nick O-Toole in the end zone. WVU defense was called for a substitution infraction, giving up their 44 yard line to TCU. Boykin was able to connect with Doctson for 17-yards and on the next play Jaden Oberkrom was in for a touchdown. After the half, it was a steeper drop down the hill for WVU.

Coming out for the second half, WVU offense struggled to connect passes on both the passing and receiving ends of the ball.  Howard completed only 16 of his 39 passes for 160-yards and 1 touchdown. David Sills was the Mountaineer leading pass-catcher with only 3 catches for 42 yards. Shelton Gibson, Jovon Durante, and Sills all dropped passes from Howard that could have resulted in WVU touchdowns to make the score gap a little less brutal. TCU continued scoring as they did in the first half, with more impressive plays by Boykin and Doctson.

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s hard to find the positives in a game that could have been closer – a game that the Mountaineers entered and left with their heads down. However, the one positive we can all agree on is the November schedule is guaranteed to be a lighter load than what October gave us.

The Mountaineers have the talent to come back from the blow October gave them, but the question is, will they be able to mentally recover from the four consecutive losses?

Preparing for Texas Tech

The Mountaineers face their first November opponent, Texas Tech, at home on Saturday. While Texas Tech does not match the caliber of play WVU football has faced this month, the matchup will still, surely, be tough. The Mountaineers need a clean slate. They need to revert back to the feeling of victory after their first 3 wins on the season and enter Saturday’s game ready to win and maintain that mentality throughout the entire game.

WVUs biggest downfall this season has been their inability to play a full game. Breakdowns in the opening half or the closing half have bee a consistent problem this year and in order to turn the season around it will be their biggest obstacle.

Get your tickets now for Saturday, November 7th when the Mountaineers take on Texas Tech at home with the kickoff set for noon. BE sure to make it into Mountaineer World to get all fo the latest and greatest WVU football gear and accessories to cheer your Mountaineers back into a winning season!

Game Highlights

West Virginia Football Continues to Struggle Through October Schedule

WVU falls 38-62 to No. 2 Baylor on the road

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 7 10 7 14 38
OSU 17 10 21 14 62

Game Recap

We all knew that the October schedule for the Mountaineers would be a tough one, but coming off of three straight losses has Mountaineer fans asking, “what needs to be done?” WVU football conceded a win to the No. 2 Baylor Bears Saturday afternoon on the road. Baylor showed up for vengeance after their only regular season loss last year to the Mountaineers, the question is, did the Mountaineers show up?

The Mountaineer defense was forced to compete with Corey Coleman, who Head Coach Dana Holgorsen describes as “the best player in college football.” Coleman gave his home crowd a little-something extra to cheer about when he broke his single-season school record for TD catches, now totaling 16 on the season. Baylor’s Seth Russel is now the only QB for the Bears – other than RG III – to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 yards in a single game.

Skyler Howard, who ended the game with 4 completed touchdown passes, made the first error after a pass intended for Shelton Gibson ended up int he hands of Baylor’s Ryan Reid in the end zone of what would have been 6-points on the board for West Virginia. Following Howard’s interception, WVU kicker Josh Lambert‘s field goal attempt of 45-yards went wide right and the Mountaineers were forced to enter halftime down by 10.

After halftime, the Mountaineers couldn’t seem to close the gap, and the third missed opportunity came at the end of the third quarter. Adam Pankey jumped too early as Howard was changing plays. What would have been a 1-yard attempt on the fourth down became fourth and six instead. Howard‘s fourth-down attempt to Jovon Durante didn’t connect and Baylor’s seventh touchdown came shortly after on a 52-yard run by Baylor’s Jay Lee.

Baylor hit West Virginia hard in the opening quarter of the game – scoring the first touchdown in under a minute. While the Mountaineers were able to match the Bears point-for-point in in the second quarter, the Bears blew them away again in the third. By the fourth quarter, nothing WVU could do would keep up with their opponent.

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s hard to imagine a bright side when looking at the loss-margin on the scoreboard Saturday night. However, there are some positives to the WVU performance against Baylor.

Positive #1: Skylar Howard performed well, despite the first half interception.

The junior QB completed 18 passes for nearly 300-yards Saturday night, and added 4 touchdowns to the WVU score. Howard, who Holgorsen says, “puts pressure on himself” has been the “fall-guy” in the media after the past WVU losses this season. Despite what the media says about him, Howard has fought through the criticism and begun to improve in high-pressure situations. Had the Mountaineers played Baylor in either of the first two Big 12 games this season, there may have been more than one interception. Though his pass completion remains similar to the game against OSU, he added significant yards to his throws – echoing his stats win against Maryland earlier this season.

Positive #2: The team finishes strong

The Mountaineers already know what they need to do – and there are glimmers of it in the loss to Baylor. The problem lies in their slow start. In the opening quarter, and coming out after the half, the Mountaineers struggled to put points on the board, which when facing top-ranked Big 12 teams is a guaranteed loss and WVU knows it. We can imagine that every player on the field knew after the quick touchdown scored in the opening minute of the game that the loss was inevitable – but they fought for what was almost a tied game going into the half.

Preparing for TCU

The Mountaineers face the same challenge preparing for TCU as they did Baylor – competing throughout the game. With 12 days to prepare against yet another top-ranked team, WVU needs to find a way to put pressure on the opposing defense for four quarters rather than two.

What do you think WVU needs to do to improve? Does the team stand a chance against No. 3 TCU on October 29th?

Don’t forget to visit the Mountaineer World blog for all of the highlights and visit Mountaineer World for all of your game day needs! Remember to tune in for West Virginia football on October 29th to cheer on your Mountaineers!

Game Highlights

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WVU Football Falls to Oklahoma State in Homecoming Game

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT Final
 WVU 0 2 14 10 0 26
OSU 7 10 6 3 7 33

Game Recap

The Mountaineers couldn’t recover after a 2-yard touchdown run by the Cowboys in an overtime game at Milan-Puskar Stadium filled with a homecoming crowd on Saturday. WVU football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said after the game, “You’ve got to put together four good quarters in the Big 12 to win football games and right now we are not capable of doing that.” Similar to last week’s loss to Oklahoma, West Virginia had another rough start against No.21 OSU.

The first two quarters of the game were wrought with mistakes from the Mountaineers. A fumble by Skyler Howard early in the game was recovered by Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah which put an early 7 points on the board for the Cowboys. WVU was able to hold Oklahoma at 7 – 0 for the remainder of the 1st quarter, but at the beginning of the 2nd, a fumble by Rushel Shell gave the Cowboys the opportunity to score. At the Mountaineer 28, a sequence of five plays gave OSU’s Rennie Childs a scoring opportunity from the 1-yard line. WVU was down 14-0. The Mountaineers would turn the ball over for the third time after a 59 yard push to the Cowboy’s 15. Wendell Smallwood had an opportunity for a first-down until Chad Whitener stripped Smallwood of the ball, which was then recovered by Jordan Sterns at the OSU 5-yard line. WVU lost the touchdown opportunity and may have gone into half-time without a point on the board, but Kyle Rose‘s sack on Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph in the end zone gave the Mountaineers 2-points.

For every mistake West Virginia made during the first half, they topped with impressive play in the second. Smallwood opened up WVU scoring early in the 3rd quarter with a 29-yard run to the OSU end zone. Howard answered for his earlier fumble with what would be the most impressive play in the game. Howard threw a deep pass to Shelton Gibson which resulted in a 48-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 23-16. Howard pumped even more adrenaline through the stadium when he ran the ball into the end zone with 2:44 left in the 4th quarter, tying the score.

The Mountaineers began overtime with their defense, and after several plays, OSU’s Walsh carried the ball in for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal from the Mountaineer 2. The Mountaineers answered back during their possession with a push beginning with Shell‘s 5-yard run and ending with a first down at the Cowboy’s 9. Shell may have been able to run the ball in for a touchdown, but chose to take a route on the outside, leading him straight into Jordan Burton and Tre Flowers and a 7-yard loss. Howard‘s throw to Daikiel Shorts Jr. that would have tied the game ended in an in-completion and, ultimately, a loss for our Mountaineers

Who Stood Out

Though the Mountaineers struggled offensively, the defense showed up to match the amount of turnovers by West Virginia to OSU. Early in the game, corner back Terrell Chestnut ran under a Rudolph pass and made the interception with ease inside of the Cowboy’s 10, giving Chestnut his second interception on the season, and the third in his career. Daryl Worley intercepted a pass intended for Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman inside the Cowboy’s 50, marking his 2nd interception of the season and 6th in his career.  The final WVU interception came from Nick Kwiatkoski (his first since 2013 and 4th in his career) who caught the ball, intended for OSU wide receiver James Washington, off the shoulder of Chestnut.

The three interceptions made by the West Virginia defense gave WVU 16 takeaways this season, topping their previous year’s total of 14. WVU is now the 8th college football team since 2000 to have 13 or more interceptions in the first 5 games of the season.

Preparing for Baylor

After another lack-luster performance by WVU in the first half, it’s clear that the Mountaineers need to start capitalizing on opportunities earlier in the game. Facing No. 3 Baylor on the road next Saturday, the Mountaineers will have to do exactly what Holgorsen commented to the media – play all 4 quarters. West Virginia, as-of-yet, in the Big 12 has become a “second-half” team. While the fans admire their drive when the team comes into the 2nd half ready to make a comeback, the offense will have to work on putting numbers on the board early in the game without conceding any turnovers.

Don’t forget to visit the Mountaineer World blog for all of the highlights and visit Mountaineer World for all of your game day needs!

Game Highlights

WVU Football Win Streak Ends with Loss to Oklahoma State

Mountaineers make too many mistakes, lose to Sooners 24 – 44

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 0 7 17 0 24
OU 7 17 10 10 44

Game Recap

The WVU football 3 game winning streak was shut down on Saturday after the Mountaineers took a hard loss from Oklahoma University. What exactly led to the loss? The Mountaineers made too many mistakes on offense throughout most of the game – including five turnovers all from fumbles and interceptions by WVU QB Skyler Howard who, until the game against the Terrapins, had completed over 170 passes without an interception. Howard and the Mountaineers had a hard time with passing – Howard only completing 17 of his 32 passes throughout the game.

West Virginia was able to briefly tie the game during the second quarter after a series of plays for 86 yards. Since the passing game was obviously not effective against the impassable Sooner defense, WVU relied on running the ball as well as penalties by Oklahoma. Rushel Shell contributed 26 yards to the 86 yard push and ultimately carried the ball for 5 yards into the Oklahoma end-zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately the tied game was short lived, with the Sooners able to get back in the lead immediately after the Shell touchdown.

Howard gave WVU fans another gleam of hope late in the third quarter after a 50-yard run for a touchdown, bringing the score to 27 -24, with the Mountaineers only down by 3. Howard’s zone-read fake couldn’t have been executed more perfectly – but it wasn’t enough to win the game for the Mountaineers. The Sooners were able to dominate the last quarter of the game, ending the West Virginia winning streak by a score of 44 – 24

Who Stood Out

Shell and Wendell Smallwood were able to generate success from the running game against Oklahoma when the passing game was failing. Shell’s 26 yard contribution to the 86 yard push during the second quarter and the 5 yard touchdown gave West Virginia hope of a comeback now that the score was tied. Smallwood was able to surpass 100 rushing yards in his 22 attempts against Oklahoma University, averaging about 5 yards a play. He was also able to contribute something to the little bit of passing game the Mountaineers could generate – totaling only 8 yards in 3 plays.

Karl Joseph was a force to be reckoned with on the WVU defense. Joseph’s massive hit during the first quarter on The Sooner’s Westbrook was described on ESPN as a “heat seeking missile” and as one of the “hardest hitters in the Nation.” Joseph became the nation leader in interceptions with his 5th of the season after he was able to easily pick a pass thrown by the Sooner QB out of the air.

At one point, Jovon Durante was able to make a nice catch after having to jump to reach a ball from Howard in the end-zone early in the second half. After the ball was stripped from he Sooner defense, WVU gained possession again in the third quarter and Howard and Durante paired up again for a 34-yard pass that landed the WVU offense just 5 yards away from another TD. Unfortunately, Durante was unable to keep his feet under him and the Mountaineers settled for a 23-yard field goal from Josh Lambert.

Preparing for the Cowboys

So the question is, what do the Mountaineers need to do to prevent another shattering loss from happening against the Cowboys in WVUs Homecoming game this Saturday? After the game, some Mountaineer players and assistant coaches discussed what went wrong and what needs worked on. Karl Joseph had maybe the most important comment about the loss to the Sooners, saying that the season isn’t over and the team needs to “move on.” The downfall with the Mountaineers will come if the players begin getting inside their own heads. Shell commented that when Oklahoma made a play, WVU made the mistake of putting their heads down. Shell said “Oklahoma is a good team, they’re going to make plays.

It was made apparent through the many mistakes on offense that West Virginia’s biggest opponent is West Virginia. If the team can recover and strive to improve for the next game, rather than beating themselves up over a loss to a good college football team – they can recover next week against the Cowboys.

Game Highlights

Mountaineers Dominate Maryland in Three Game Win Streak

Mountaineers smoke Terrapins 45 – 6 to continue perfect early-season record

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 21 17 0 7 45
 LU 0 0 0 6 6

Game Recap

It was a record breaking weekend for West Virginia football during their defeat of the Maryland Terrapins by a score of 45 – 6. Just to name a few:

  • Wendell Smallwood recorded a career-high 147 yards and a touchdown
  • The 39-point win margin is the widest margin in history in the 52 game history against Maryland
  • Fourth widest margin by either team in the history of the series.
  • 37 first downs beat WVUs school record
  • The five interceptions by the Mountaineer defense is the most in a single game since 1990

Skylar Howard had another stellar performance – despite the end of his consecutive passes thrown without an interception –  as the Mountaineer’s starting quarterback as he completed 22 of his 33 passes for a total of 294 yards and four touchdowns. In fact, four of the Mountaineers first 5 possessions resulted in touchdowns against the Terrapins. Dana Holgorsen was obviously very proud of his team’s performance, saying in his post-game media conference that, “It’s a great day to be a Mountaineer.”

Individual MVP

 Player ATT Yards AVG TD
 Wendell Smallwood, RB 22 147 6.7 1

Smallwood had yet another noteworthy performance in the WVU jersey including his career high 174 yards and a run for a touchdown. After a late hit on Howard by A.J. Hendy, wendell commented that “I think it got pretty nasty,” as he commented on the performance by both teams after the incident which Hendy was not ejected for. Smallwood and the rest of the Mountaineers had entered the game ready to continue their win streak, and after the provocation of the rough play on Howard, Smallwood elaborated on how fulfilling it was to see the team step up ensure an agonizing defeat for the Terrapins.

“It was on when we stepped on the field,” Smallwood said after the game.

Unsung Hero

It’s obvious that Shelton Gibson is becoming Howard’s preferred target and it’s pretty understandable why that’s the case. During Saturday’s game, Gibson completed 6 passes for 118 yards gained and two touchdowns to help the Mountaineers blow the Terrapins out of the water. During this season, Gibson still holds the team-best title of 12 passes for 329 yards and a total of 4 touchdowns in three games.

During the first half, Howard completed a scoring-pass to Gibson during a WR screenplay that led to the second first-quarter touchdown. Shelton’s second score in the game on Saturday came after a 4-play run which eventually led Howard to Gibson on the far sideline. Gibson was able to catch the ball and run into into the end zone for a 41-yard scoring toss.

Game Highlights