|3rd down efficiency||6-19||2-14|
|4th down efficiency||2-3||1-1|
|Yards per pass||6.1||4.1|
|Yards per rush||3.7||1.4|
|Chris ChugunovC. Chugunov||9/28||129||4.6||1||2||7.0|
|Gary JenningsG. Jennings||0/1||0||0.0||0||0||6.4|
|Kennedy McKoyK. McKoy||1/1||-5||-5.0||0||0||2.9|
|Kennedy McKoyK. McKoy||14||31||2.2||0||7|
|Elijah WellmanE. Wellman||2||6||3.0||0||3|
|Martell PettawayM. Pettaway||2||4||2.0||0||3|
|Chris ChugunovC. Chugunov||3||-12||-4.0||0||0|
|Gary JenningsG. Jennings||3||66||22.0||0||38|
|Marcus SimmsM. Simms||3||33||11.0||0||33|
|Ka’Raun WhiteK. White||3||26||8.7||1||18|
|Kennedy McKoyK. McKoy||1||-1||-1.0||0||0|
The West Virginia Mountaineers fall to the Utah Utes in the Heart of Dallas Bowl 30-13. This was the third straight loss for West Virginia.
There was a lot of questions surrounding the offense coming into the bowl, with starting quarterback Will Grier and starting guard Kyle Bosch both out with an injury. Justin Crawford chose to sit out the game to get ready for the NFL draft, and right before the game, it was announced that starting left tackle Yodney Cajuste would not be playing.
Without the star players, there was still some optimism coming into the game with the offense, with the success the wildcat offense had against Oklahoma, and with the extra practice time quarterback Chris Chugunov would have with the first team wide receivers, the offense was expected to make some plays.
The Utah defensive line made its presence felt early, getting into to the back field on almost every snap. The first three possessions for the Mountaineers, they had -4 yards.
Utah’s first possession of the game, they took the ball 83 yards on just 4 plays, and West Virginia fell 7-0 in less than 4 minutes into the game.
On the fourth series for West Virginia, they put together a drive that showed a sign of life, going 67 yards on 11 plays, but had to settle for a field goal, cutting the Utah lead to 4, 7-3. The offense looked like they were starting to settle in. Unfortunately, it was not a sign of things to come.
Chugunov faced pressure all day, but when he did have time to throw, he was unable to find his receivers. There were times when the Mountaineers receivers where wide open, and they could not capitalize.
The offense could never get into rhythm. There was nothing positive on the offensive side of the ball.
The defense did start off slow, but did hold Utah to just 17 points in the first half. One of those touchdowns came after a muffed punt, and the Utes recovered at the West Virginia 13-yard line. The defense was unable to hold them to a field goal.
The second half was more of the same for the Mountaineer offense and Utah grinded it out on the ground in the second half, protecting their lead.
There was no doubt the four offensive starters were missed for the Mountaineers. The offensive performance in the last two games of the regular season showed how important Will Grier was.
I don’t think anyone anticipated the offense to show the effectiveness they had during the regular season, but to only put up 153 total yards and 13 points against a 6-6 Utah team was unexpected.