Mountaineers continue to shock, move to 4-1 with victory over TCU

By Zippy Zimmerman, RealWV

Despite having two star defensive players being carted off the field with injuries, the Mountaineers found a way to win a close one against TCU.

The Horned Frogs were favored to win the matchup by over 70%, but the continued strong defensive play from the Mountaineers would ultimately prove to be the difference. West Virginia Quarterback Garrett Greene and running back CJ Donaldson also proved to be vital in the Mountaineer’s victory; as they seemed to take a step in the right direction towards finding their offensive stride.

TCU got things going quickly on offense—as many suspected they would, opening up their first possession with a four-play drive ending with a 59-yard touchdown strike from Chandler Morris to JP Richardson. The Mountaineers were able to follow up with a score with of their own as Greene marched WVU’s offense down the field on a six-play drive ending with a 35-yard touchdown scamper by Greene himself. The score would be tied at 7-7 with 8:53 left to play in first.

After scoreless possessions for both squads, Morris did his best Greene impression and scrambled in for a 36-yard touchdown to put the Horned Frogs back out in front 7-14. Following a couple more scoreless possessions, the Mountaineers would answer by way of a one-yard Donaldson touchdown run. Donaldson’s run capped off a beautiful 10 play, 43-yard drive that took 5:05 off the clock—the same style of offensive drives that were seen last week against Texas Tech. The score would now again be tied at 14-14 with 1:50 left to play before the end of the half.

In the third quarter, West Virginia’s defense was finally able to make its presence felt in a big way. The Mountaineer defense held the high-powered Horned Frog’s offense to just one single-yard of total offense for the entirety of the quarter; this resulted in TCU being forced to punt on three straight possessions. West Virginia was able to capitalize on the strong play of its defense by putting up points during the lack of presence form TCU’s offense. Heading into the fourth, the Mountaineers would now have themselves in a 21-21 tied ball game with the runners-up from last year’s national championship game.

The score remained the same for the majority of fourth and final quarter of action, but West Virginia would finally come by some points on a 49-yard field goal from Michael Hayes to give themselves a 24-21 lead with 9:31 still to play. It would all come down to one possession for the Horned Frogs. TCU had an opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime with a 55-yard field goal attempt, but that attempt would be blocked by defensive linemen Shaun Martin. The Mountaineers were able to retain possession with 32 seconds left to kneel the game out. West Virginia escapes Fort Worth with a narrow 24-21 victory advancing them to 4-1 on the season.

Photo credits: @wvufootball via. Instagram.

The big story of the game for West Virginia will be injuries. The Mountaineers suffered injuries to four key players—some of which statuses are still unknown at the moment. WVU Head Coach Neal Brown did claim star safety Aubrey Burks now had movement in all of his upper and lower extremities after having been carted off the field and sent to a local hospital, leading him to be optimistic about Burks ability to travel back to Morgantown with the team. News regarding linebacker Trey Lathan on the other hand was not as fortunate. Brown claimed Lathan will be staying in Fort Worth overnight, and would require surgery for a leg injury. Lathan will likely miss the rest of the season for West Virginia.

Greene also seemed to re-tweak his ankle which had been sprained just two weeks prior. The potential re-injury appeared to happen during an awkward tackle attempt in the fourth quarter, but he claimed in post-game interviews that his ankle was “100%” and “never better.” This coming week the Mountaineers will have a bye-week to heal up and begin to prepare to travel back to Texas the Thursday following their bye. The Mountaineers will then face off against its previous head coach and new member of the BIG 12 in Dana Holgorsen and Houston. The meeting will be the first time Brown and WVU has seen Holgorsen since his departure from the university in 2019.


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