ORLANDO, Fla. – In a game that was billed as a “must-win” for both teams, WVU was able to make their trip to Orlando a magical one.
West Virginia showed an aggressive mentality right away. Garrett Greene led the Mountaineers all the way to pay dirt on the opening possession. This included a big 21-yard run by CJ Donaldson to save the drive.
But West Virginia would not have the lead for long. UCF would move the ball with ease, culminating in a 34-yarder touchdown pass from John Rhys Plumlee to Kobe Hudson. The game was all tied up with seven minutes still remaining in the first quarter.
While the scoring would calm down throughout the rest of the quarter, the momentum shifts would not. And just when it seemed as if the WVU defense would never be able to fully stop the UCF offense, Beanie Bishop got his hands on the ball and picked off Plumlee. This gave the Mountaineers the ball again with a 10-7 lead now early in the second quarter.
Freshman running back Jahiem White takes advantage of opportunities and scores a touchdown on an outside rush. West Virginia capitalizes off the turnover and take a two-score edge, 17-7.
But the back and forth theme of the day would continue. UCF would respond on their next drive and cut into the WVU lead, making it 17-14.
Momentum would then flip flop again when Marcis Floyd earned West Virginia another interception of Plumlee, which came a play after UCF recovered a fumble. WVU would fail to add more points off turnovers and be forced to punt the ball away, giving the Knights one last chance to charge up the field. They would have 27 seconds to do it, and despite a 20-yard run by RJ Harvey, the half would end with the score still 17-14.
The second half would start off with a bang for West Virginia. Bishop wold do it again, picking up his second interception of the game. Greene and company would then get back to work. That would result in a Mountaineer touchdown and a 24-14 score.
A UCF touchdown was then followed by a sack against Greene by their defense. The Knights closed the quarter with a chance take control of the game. Lee Kpogba forced a fumble that was recovered by West Virginia. Greene then used his legs to hammer home a gigantic touchdown for the Mountaineers.
Just when it appeared like WVU was about to blow yet another game, the luck stayed on the side of the visiting team as the scoreboard read 31-21.
It was time for West Virginia to put the final nail in UCF’s coffin. And CJ Donaldson was the man to do it. Donaldson ran it in and gave the Mountaineers a commanding 38-21 lead with about nine minutes to go.
So Donaldson, who has struggled in recent weeks, and the defense, a unit that’s collapsed in back-to-back losses, gets credit for sealing a much-needed victory.
WVU keeps hold of a winning record, moving to 5-3 (3-2) on the season. Up next is a trip back up north and a tough test against BYU.
Get WVSN in your mailbox!
Former 4-Star Recruit, Ohio State Transfer DB Adds West Virginia Offer
WVU Women’s Basketball Takes Downs No. 25 Penn State 83-65
WVU Football Extends Offer to Wake Forest Transfer WR
WVU Basketball Still Not Ruling Out Adding Pieces to Roster, According to Eilert
WVU Assistant Coaches Marshall, Stewart Recognized by American Football Coaches Association
West Virginia Slated to Meet Ranked ACC Opponent in New Bowl Projections
Cortez Braham Opens Up About WVU Exit, Details Final Conversation with Neal Brown
In-State QB Commits to WVU Football, Joins 2024 Class
National Writer Adjusts Bowl Projection for Mountaineers
Zach Frazier Announces Surgery, Confirms End to WVU Career
Watch: Former WVU DL Dante Stills Recovers Fumble vs. Steelers
Watch: Unbelievable Catch in West Virginia State Championship Game Garners National Attention
WVU Postgame Show: A Missed Opportunity Against St. John’s
Postgame Reaction to WVU’s Loss to St. John’s
CRW Hoops: WVU Basketball-St. John’s Preview, Predictions
Breaking Down WVU Football’s Committments for 2024
7shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsWith some new recruits announcing commitments to the WVU football program this week, the 2024 class...
Complete List of High School Recruits Offered by WVU Football
6shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsTo say the WVU football program has been putting in a lot of recruiting work since...
Transfer Players Who Have Signed with West Virginia Football
5shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsSince the Mountaineers have been increasingly active in pursuing transfers lately and there’s an important distinction...