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Garrett Greene’s Legs, FG Blocks, Power WVU Upset over TCU



Garrett Greene WVU

FORT WORTH, Texas — Garrett Greene returned from an ankle injury, and used his legs to propel WVU to an upset 24-21 victory over TCU.

Head coach Neal Brown said that Greene could have played in the Big 12 opener the previous week against Texas Tech, but he wasn’t 100% and wouldn’t have been able to run.

He needed his legs in this one. Greene led all ball carries in rushing yards and scored two touchdowns as he led the Mountaineers to a stoic upset of the reigning national semifinalists.

The WVU defense held TCU to its lowest offensive output of the season, and was aided by a pair of late field goal blocks.

TCU’s high-powered offense, which entered tied for 15th in the nation at 37.3 points per game, threatened to run away with the game multiple times, and the Horned Frogs out-gained the Mountaineers, 430-343. But every time TCU seemed poised to pull away, WVU found an answer to claw back.

After a big-play score from Chandler Morris to J.P. Richardson to start the game from the potent TCU offense, Greene used his legs to find a weakness in the TCU defense, running 35 yards for the tying score.

Morris then used his legs for a big play the other way, rushing for a 31-yard score on the first play of the second quarter to make it 13-7.

Then it was the expected contribution of Greene and star running back C.J. Donaldson on the ground that made the difference for WVU. After a lengthy delay for an injury to safety Aubrey Burks, who was taken to a local hospital for evaluation after being kneed in the head while covering a punt, WVU got the ball back and turned to Greene and the big back to slow the game down.

WVU rushed on eight of 10 plays, four times by Green and four times by Donaldson, covering 43 yards and not only tied the game, but kept the TCU offense off the field for a good, long time.

The Horned Frogs didn’t need much time to strike back before the end of the half. They went 75 yards in 1:26, with Morris hitting Dylan Wright for a 36-yard score to put TCU back up before the half.

In the third quarter, another lengthy WVU drive that led to the score being tied. This time, Greene used his arm more, finding Hudson Clement for a pair of receptions that resulted in first downs. Jaheim White added a 10-yard run and a pair of TCU penalties — the second of which was an unsportsmanlike conduct foul against head coach Sonny Dykes — gave WVU the ball at the 1-yard line. Greene did the rest, tying the game.

The combination of West Virginia holding the ball on offense and improved play from the WVU defense combined to hold TCU to a total of 1 yard in the third quarter.

But WVU couldn’t push through for the lead. Another lengthy drive that carried from the third quarter into the fourth was stopped when Donaldson was stuffed on two tries from the 1-yard line. 

That goal line attempt came without the help of starting left guard Thomas Rimac, who was injured on the previous extra point.

But WVU kept grinding. The ensuing drive resulted in a 49-yard Michael Hayes field goal to give the Mountaineers the lead. Despite multiple defensive injuries, the defense got another stop when nose tackle Mike Lockhart blocked what would have been a game-tying field goal.

After the WVU offense was unable to salt the game away, TCU once again got into field goal range with under a minute to play, but that one was also blocked, securing the upset win for the Mountaineers.

Greene finished 10 of 21 for 142 yards passing but added 12 carries for 80 yards and two scores on the ground to lead all ballcarriers. Donaldson finished with 61 yards on 22 carries and one score.

WVU is now 4-1 and has a bye week before traveling to Houston on Oct. 12.

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