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WVU Football

West Virginia Bounces Back with 44-27 Win Over NC State



Dante Stills celebrating one of his two sacks in the win over NC State. (Photo by Doug Johnson)
1st Downs2425
3rd down efficiency5-173-11
4th down efficiency2-50-0
Total Yards369445
Yards per pass4.66.8
Interceptions thrown01
Rushing Attempts3728
Yards per rush3.96.2
Fumbles lost00
Interceptions thrown01

Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers bounced back after being manhandled a week ago and beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack 44-27, behind a 173-yard rushing performance that was led up front by two redshirt freshman on the offensive line that got their first start in James Gmiter (right guard), Briason Mays and sophomore John Hughes (right guard) with Chase Behrndt maybe having the best performance of his career.

The Mountaineer defense came out and held NC State to a three and out but a costly 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer kept the drive alive.

Wolfpack freshman Zonovan Knight ripped off a 17-yard run off the right side to set up the Wolfpack inside Mountaineer territory.  On a 3rd and 10 at the WVU 29, Dante Still sacked quarterback Mathew McKay, then kicker Christopher Dunn missed a 51-yard field goal.

West Virginia took their opening drive 66 yards for the touchdown, highlight by a backward pass to Sean Ryan and he ran all the back across the field before QB Kendall Austin set up a block downfield to help spring Ryan for 24 yards and Sam James took a wide receiver screen from 20 yards out for the games first score.

NC State responded on the following drive going 75 yards on 10 plays. The Mountaineers had them pinned back on 2nd and 13 but Josh Norwood was called for a clear targeting penalty that gave the Wolfpack a first down.

The Wolfpack got their ground game going, rushing for 36 yards following the penalty and McKay capped off the drive hitting Thayer Thomas from eight yards out.

Not to be outdone by NC State, West Virginia answered on the ensuing drive after Kendall hit Sam James for 51 of his 114 first-half yards, then Kennedy McKoy trucked his way endzone for the 23-yard touchdown run to give WVU back the lead 14-7.

NC State tied the game early in the second quarter on a balanced 12 play 80-yard drive, 46 yards came from the ground.

McKay got his offense moving midway through the second quarter going 5-5 through the air for 80 yards and 14 more on the ground as the Wolfpack took a 21-14 lead with 3:13 left in the half.

Austin Kendall in the Mountaineer offense responded marching down the field 75-yards on nine plays to tie the game at 21. Kendall went 5-5 for 49 yards capped off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to George Campbell.

The Mountaineers took the opening drive of the second half down to the NC State 11 before Evan Staley gave WVU back the lead with a 24-yard field goal.

Midway through the third quarter, Reese Donahue sacked McKay forcing the Wolfpack to punt, and Logan Thimons busted through to block the punt giving the West Virginia the ball at the NC State 12-yard line.

Two carries later for Kennedy McKoy and the Mountaineers held a 10-point lead, 31-21.

On the ensuing kickoff, after the touchback, a personal foul on WVU set the Wolfpack up at their own 40-yard line. It took 11 plays to go 36 yards, but it was enough to get the game back to one possession as Dunn knocked through a 41-yard field goal.

On West Virginia’s next possession, Austin Kendall through an ill-advised pass across his body and was picked off by Drake Thomas and he took it down to the WVU 21-yard line. However, the defense held NC State to a three and out and a field goal.

West Virginia answered on the following drive. Austin Kendall showed off his athleticism scampering down the field for 25 yards and then hit freshman Ali Jennings in the endzone to put the Mountaineers up 38-27.

The Mountaineer defense kept NC State off the board through the rest of the fourth quarter and put the final nail in the coffin after holding them on 4th and 4 at their own 23.

Leddie Brown sealed it with four carries to the endzone to give WVU the 44-27 win.

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