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Mountaineers Eke Out a Victory in Season Finale Against TCU

Cody Nespor

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Entering the fourth quarter against TCU Friday night, WVU was in a familiar situation, trailing by four points.

West Virginia (5-7, 3-6 Big 12) has played in several close fourth-quarter games this season. After losing close games to Texas, Iowa State, Baylor and most recently against Oklahoma State last weekend, the Mountaineers finally pulled one out, defeating the Horned Frogs (5-7, 3-6) 20-17 in Fort Worth.

Through intermittent rain Friday night, both the WVU and TCU offenses struggled throughout the entire contest. Each team was held under 300 yards. TCU managed 174 through the air and 153 on the ground while the Mountaineers went 108 through the air and 86 on the ground.

The Mountaineers opened the scoring on the day after freshman safety Tykee Smith intercepted TCU quarterback Max Duggan on the Horned Frogs’ first offensive drive. West Virginia took over at the TCU 14-yard line and easily scored on a Jarret Doege pass to running back Leddie Brown.

TCU responded with a touchdown and field goal and the Mountaineers were able to add a field goal to enter halftime tied at 10.

Doege, making his third consecutive start, had a rocky first half for the Mountaineers. He completed nine of 16 passes for 74 yards and two interceptions, his first as a Mountaineer. Doege threw another interception in the second half, all three coming on deep throws.

Off those three turnovers, however, TCU was unable to score any points. WVU, on the other hand, was able to score 10 points off of two Duggan interceptions.

With 4:47 left in the fourth quarter, on second and 10 form the TCU 35, trailing 17-13 Doege tried a deep throw once again. This time, however, Isaiah Esdale came down with the ball and snuck into the endzone to give WVU a 20-17 lead.

The Mountaineers stifled TCU’s late-game comeback attempt and came away with their fifth win of the season. The loss knocked TCU out of Bowl eligibility.

The Mountaineers end the season with a 5-7 record but won two of their final three games.

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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