MORGANTOWN, W.Va – After maybe a brief moment of concern for West Virginia fans, the Mountaineers did what they were supposed to do on this Saturday afternoon, dominating Towson and securing the team’s first win of the season by the score of 65-7.
Quarterback JT Daniels led WVU down the field on the opening drive of the game, capping it off with a short two-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Prather. Towson did answer, what ended up being the Tigers only score of the day, with an ensuing kickoff return all the way to the end zone. That made it 7-7, generating a bit of an unsettling feeling a week after the devastating overtime loss to Kansas. Fortunately for the crowd on a day that saw several all-time great Mountaineers, including two former football heroes, be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame, that concern only lasted a few minutes.
West Virginia’s offense then took over and showed why there is still a large talent disparity, even for a team struggling, between any FBS team and an FCS level opponent. Running back CJ Donaldson, who emerged as a potential star in the Backyard Brawl in Pittsburgh, added another highlight reel play to his resume, jetting by Towson defenders for an 82-yard touchdown run. At that time, WVU led 21-7, starting to pull away for a much-needed easy day.
Add several more touchdowns and the Mountaineers went into the locker room with an overpowering 45-7 lead. JT Daniels, who was eventually replaced by sophomore Garrett Greene late in the second quarter once WVU achieved a comfortable advantage, finished the day having completed 16 out of 24 passes, throwing 174 yards and tossing one touchdown pass.
Greene joined the scoring fun to start the second half ignited by a 39-yard run on the drive. Green then ran it in for an 11-yard score. WVU was now up 51-7 in the third quarter. Greene ran for a total of 59 yards in a little over a half of work.
Will Crowder Crowder completed all 6 of his passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in a small appearance. The heavily hyped true freshman Nicco Marchiol eventually entered the game at quarterback with about 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Marchiol didn’t want to be left out from WVU’s offensive party. He completed two of his three passes of his regular season debut. The fans that were left cheered as loud as possible in such a lopsided game when Marchiol threw a rope to Preston Fox in the corner of the end zone, bringing the score to 65-7.
Bryce Ford-Wheaton failed to get into the end zone for the first time in a game this season, having scored two in each of WVU’s first two matchups. He did catch 4 balls for 47 yards. Sam James had two receptions for 53 yards and Prather caught 6 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Cortez Braham took over for the receivers in the second half, recording 5 receptions for 60 yards.
Donaldson led the way on the ground with 9 carries for 101 yards, of course mostly accumulated from that 82-yarder. Also on the ground and a bright spot that needed to happen for WVU, Tony Mathis ran for 104 yards on 17 attempts.
Defensively, the Mountaineers shutout the Towson offense. The Tigers only score came from the early kickoff return.
Tack on another touchdown and WVU coasted to a 65-7 victory, sitting at 1-2 on the season overall. The Mountaineers will now travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to battle for the Black Diamond Trophy against Virginia Tech in a short week. The game is set to kickoff at 7:30 Thursday night. West Virginia currently owns the trophy thanks to a 27-21 win in Morgantown last season.