Garrett Greene doesn’t need his head coach or anyone else telling him he messed up. He knows taking his helmet off and getting an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the game against Houston cost his team.
And after Neal Brown expressed his disappointment in his quarterback for that mental mistake, it was time for Greene to discuss the blunder as well. Like a true leader should, Greene owned it and didn’t make any excuses.
“That’s 100 percent on me. I messed that one up. If they’re 15 yards back, that last play probably doesn’t happen. I have to be more mature than that, I have to be better than that,” said Greene during his postgame press conference Thursday night.
After being down 11 in the fourth quarter, Greene led the Mountaineers down the field with just over a minute left on the clock. Greene found receiver Hudson Clement for a 50-yard touchdown on 4th & 10 to give West Virginia the lead. After the play, Greene took his helmet off in celebration, resulting in an unsportsmanlike penalty that would go towards the kickoff.
“The rule is clear, don’t take your helmet off,” said a dejected Brown after the game.
Despite 12 seconds on the clock, Houston’s Donovan Smith lobbed a Hail Mary into the end zone to give the Cougars a 41-39 win. Greene’s penalty ended up putting Houston on their own 43, which was much better positioning than expected.
Unfortunately for Greene, his overall performance will likely now be overshadowed by one moment. Greene’s best individual game as West Virginia’s starting quarterback ended up happening in a loss, but Brown did make it clear his team didn’t lose just because of the penalty that aided in the Hail Mary.
“Everyone’s going to talk about the Hail Mary play, and we did not play that well. I saw the ball in the air and said we lost,” Brown added.
Garrett Greene finished with 391 passing yards, 47 rushing yards, four total touchdowns and one interception. Greene’s penalty was his most-costly play against the Cougars and may now be all anyone remembers from the game.
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