Charlotte, North Carolina – The #17 West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) took down the Tennessee Volunteers (0-1) 40-14 inside Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tennessee elected to receive the ball to start the game and defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson and his Dawgs pushed Tennessee back 15 yards to a three and out. Kenny Bigelow busted through the line and hit the quarterback forcing a fumble. Corner Hakeem Bailey deflected the pass on the following play and a blitz stuffed the Tennessee drive.
On the Mountaineers first possession, West Virginia moved the ball with ease, but the drive stalled at the 16-yard line. Kicker Evan Staley put the Mountaineers up 3-0 with a 26-yard field goal.
On the second drive the Mountaineers found the endzone on five plays, 85 yards. Will Grier found TJ Simmons on a deep crossing route for 59 yards for the Touchdown.
The Volunteers got on the board in the second quarter on a long sustaining drive, 17 plays, 78 yards and holding the ball for 8:47. Tennessee capped off the drive with a touchdown after the West Virginia defense held them to fourth down on the one-yard line.
Tennessee Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano found tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson in the back of the endzone on a play action boot leg to cut the Mountaineer lead to three, 10-7.
After West Virginia went three and out offensively, Tennessee got the ball back with momentum, but the Mountaineer defense held them at midfield and West Virginia got the ball at their own 25-yard line with a 1:52 left in the half.
Will Grier went 3-4 for 40 yards and drove the team down to the 18-yard line to setting up a 35-yard field goal from Evan Staley.
Mountaineers went into halftime leading 13-7.
There was an hour and five-minute weather delay and when play finally resumed, West Virginia took the opening drive of the second half right down the field for six. 65 yards came on two plays. Grier found Marcus Simms on a quick slant and Simms used his speed to take it down field for 32 yards. On the following play, Grier found David Sills over the top for the Touchdown.
The defense held Tennessee to a three and out, giving the Mountaineer offense the ball at their own 40-yard line.
The offense took advantage, they went 60 yards on seven plays in 2:49. Martell Pettaway ran up the middle on a delayed handoff for 22 yards. Grier went 2-3 for 37 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings. Mountaineers rolling 27-7
Tennessee responded with a touchdown on the ensuing drive. The Volunteers hit the Mountaineer defense with a big dose of the running game. Four rushes for 50 yards, capped off on a four-yard touchdown run by running back Tim Jordan, to cut the West Virginia lead back to 13.
West Virginia got the ball back at their own 22 and drove down the field 78 yards on nine plays. Will Grier and Gary Jennings hooked up for a pretty 30-yard pass to put the Mountaineers in Tennessee territory.
On third and four, West Virginia put out a double tight end set, both on the left side of the field, and they cleared it out as Kennedy McKoy ran a wheel route up the left side. Grier hit McKoy in stride for the 14-yard touchdown.
The Mountaineer defense has a second chance at a fourth and goal from the two and the defense held strong.
The West Virginia offense took the ball 98 yards on their final drive for the touchdown. Will Grier found David Sills over the middle in the endzone from 10 yards out to finish the drive.
The 26-point win in a neutral site venue was the first win over a power five team, since the Mountaineers won at Three Rivers Stadium over Pitt in 1998.
|2D||Robinson, Kenny (FS)||9||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Long Jr., David (WILL)||9||6||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|6D||Askew-Henry, D. (SPUR)||8||4||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|24||Bailey, Hakeem (LCB)||8||3||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|10||Tonkery, Dylan (MIKE)||6||2||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|3D||Avery, Toyous (BS)||4||2||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|1B||Robinson, J. (DE)||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|18||Benton, Charlie (SAM)||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|40||Bigelow Jr., K. (NT)||2||2||0||2||0||0||0||1|
|46||Donahue, Reese (DE)||2||2||1||2||0||0||0||0|