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Penn State Proves Too Much for WVU to Handle as Mountaineers Open Season with Loss



WVU Football QB Garrett Greene tackled by PSU

STATE COLLEGE, Pa – Happy Valley didn’t offer enough happiness for WVU on Saturday night. And while there were some signs West Virginia could be a better team than last season, Penn State was too much to handle for the Mountaineers.

The plan for the WVU defense was to make Drew Allar win it with his arm. And on Penn State’s first offensive possession, he did just that, throwing an 81-yarder for a score as Keandre Lambert-Smith beat his man and got into the end zone.

But to WVU’s credit, and unlike most experts predicted, West Virginia did not just lay down and die. The Mountaineers actually got on the board early in the second quarter to tie the game at 7. CJ Donaldson capped off the WVU scoring drive with a one-yard run to give West Virginia life.

Watch: WVU RB CJ Donaldson Breaks Through Penn State Defense for TD

To no surprise, Penn State answered. And PSU’s second touchdown was thanks in part to more perfection from Allar, who was nine of 10 for 165 yards after the possession. Nicholas Singleton put the final exclamation point on the drive, moving the score to 14-7, Nittany Lions.

Penn State was having an easier time creating big plays, but the luck was not all on the side of the Nittany Lions as the game inched towards half time. A missed field prevented Penn State from making it a two possession game with two minutes left in the half.

That good fortunate continued for West Virginia as the first half came to an end. A big tackle to stop Allar from getting to the outside with his legs by Sean Martin forced Penn State to try another field goal, another one they missed.

As the second half began, it felt it was only a matter of time until Penn State break through and pulled away. Penn State eventually got on the scoreboard again, and it was one that hurt the Mountaineers. It wasn’t just that the scoreboard now read a two-touchdown advantage for Penn State, but it was that Smith was left wide open in the back of the end zone as he caught Allar’s second touchdown pass of the game.

Garrett Greene flirted with sparing the West Virginia offense late in the third quarter, but after shying away from keeping the ball and connecting on a pass to move the chain, the offense stalled and Penn State was back in business with under three minutes left in the quarter.

Penn State added a field goal, finally converting one after misses the last two attempts, to make it a 24-7 game in favor of the Nittany Lions. Penn State was not going to denied getting another touchdown on the board though. With just over seven minutes left in the game, Allar led his team on another scoring drive and increased the score to 31-7.

Before it was all over, Greene did manage to get WVU its elusive second touchdown, this one on his legs. But the story of the game was clear. West Virginia and Penn State are just on two different levels right now. The Mountaineers open yet another season with a loss to a regional “rival” of the past.

It’s now up to Neal Brown and WVU to prove that it was more about Penn State being a great team than exposing what West Virginia will be all season.

Up next? Pencil in getting a better performance on film against FCS opponent Duquesne before Pitt travels to Morgantown to brawl.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Preston man

    September 3, 2023 at 12:06 am

    After watching play from Texas Tech, BYU, and Houston today, I do believe this WVU team has improved enough from last year to potentially win 7 games this season if they stay healthy, improve the passing game, and don’t hurt themselves with penalties and turnovers. The defense is a little better especially with the play of Lee Kobgoa and Sean Martin who had solid game tonight. The secondary still needs improvement especially sticking with receivers. Zach Frazier played a very solid game and was by far the best WVU lineman on the field.

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