There was a moment in the WVU/Texas game that many have probably forgotten by now. On one play during the game, Texas QB Sam Ehlinger’s helmet came off, meaning he would have to sit out the next play. The camera panned to backup QB Shane Buechele, who was running in a panic on the sidelines looking for his helmet. The moment seemed insignificant at the time, but it showcased one of the most important aspects of college football. As a college football player, you never know when your number will be called upon, and you have to always be ready to go. On Saturday, backup left tackle Kelby Wickline, found out just how true that statement is.
In the first quarter of the Texas game, WVU’s starting left tackle, and preseason all-Big 12 selection, Yodney Cajuste was ejected from the game. Following an extra point attempt, Cajuste got into a scuffle with a Texas player, and officials threw him from the game for what they perceived to be a punch. The call was the subject of much scrutiny, with even the members of the Fox broadcast team questioning the decision. There was nothing that could be done though, and as Cajust was being escorted from the field, Wickline found himself preparing to enter the game.
With losing a starting tackle, many people would have expected the Mountaineers to struggle against a solid Texas defensive front. Wickline proved throughout the rest of the game that he was up to the task. Wickline was very effective in run and pass blocking throughout the day, and only found himself beat by a defender on a few occasions. For much of the game, Wickline found himself matched up against Charles Omenihu, a played who considered entering the NFL last year. The O-line held strong all game, as they did not allow Texas to record a single sack.
On top of the solid overall performance, Wickline had two standout plays in the game. One came on the play following a penalty he received for being downfield on a pass play, his only major mistake of the game. The play saw him and TE Trevon Wesco open up a hole for Martell Pettaway to run in a 55-yard touchdown late in the game. His best moment though, came on the most important play of the game. As Will Grier rolled out to the right on a 2-point conversion attempt, Wickline helped clear the way. His block on DE Graham assured that Grier walked into the end zone untouched.
On a game that featured some of the best offense of the season, and one of the most important plays during WVU’s Big 12 tenure, Kelby Wickline finds himself as the unsung hero for the Mountaineers.
Get WVSN in your mailbox!
Garrett Greene Goes Back-to-Back, Winning Manning Award for Second Straight Week
The Portal Report Releases New National Transfer Portal Player List
Report: Former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to Serve as Interim AD at Northern Iowa
WVU’s Peyton Hall Back on Track Following Loss to Open Season
WV Sports Now Daily Notebook – November 29
WVU C Zach Frazier Suffers Significant Injury, WR Preston Fox in Hospital
WVU Recruit Leads High School to First WPIAL Title
WVU Football Earns Top 25 Votes After Finishing Regular Season at 8-4
Loophole in Rule Will Send Rich Rodriguez to Bowl Game After All
WVU’s Garrett Greene Earns Manning Award QB of the Week
Watch: WVU MSOC HC Dan Stratford on NCAA Run, LMU Challenge
Postgame Reaction to WVU’s Win Over Bellarmine
WVU Postgame Show: Mountaineers Cap Off 8-4 Season with Wild Win
Postgame Reaction from WVU Football’s Wild Win Over Baylor
Watch: Jahiem White Sets WVU Up, Traylon Ray Makes Catch for TD Against Baylor
Breaking Down WVU Football’s Committments for 2024
7shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsWith some new recruits announcing commitments to the WVU football program this week, the 2024 class...
Complete List of High School Recruits Offered by WVU Football
6shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsTo say the WVU football program has been putting in a lot of recruiting work since...
Transfer Players Who Have Signed with West Virginia Football
5shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsSince the Mountaineers have been increasingly active in pursuing transfers lately and there’s an important distinction...