After what was a defensive battle in the first half, both teams came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. It seemed as if West Virginia had to keep fighting from behind to stay in the game. Crucial penalties and missed opportunities cost West Virginia the game. Will Grier hit Gary Jennings for a 60 yard touchdown in what looked to be a potential turning point of the game. Getting late into the game Virginia Tech led 31-24 with under two minutes remaining in the game and lined up for what seemed to be a chip shot field goal for a pretty solid kicker, only to be wide right. The field goal would have essentially dashed any hopes of the Mountaineers making a comeback.
With a little over a minute to go we suddenly saw West Virginia have one more life left. Will Grier, who was exceptional, led the offense right down the field and got them in the red zone with a chance to tie it up. On the 2nd to last play of the game, he found David Sills in the back of the end zone, but was a bit too low and fell right out of Sills’ hands. The final play of the game was rather ugly, two penalties going against West Virginia to go along with the incompletion spelled the end of the game for the Mountaineers.
Let’s be honest, Virginia Tech deserved to win this game. They were fundamentally sound and did not make mistakes, West Virginia did. Is it time to panic yet? I don’t think so, but there is a lot of unanswered questions still about this team. Sure, the offense had a great 2nd half, but I thought the play calling should have been a little more balanced. We have seen West Virginia run the ball more and more over the last three years and for some reason Crawford only had 13 carries, McKoy with 8. This backfield is too talented and needed to be utilized more than it was tonight. Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital might change his mindset moving forward.
The defense played one good half of football before getting gassed out in the 2nd half. You can clearly see the concerns of this young defense at the corner position and the lack of depth on the defensive front. Coach Tony Gibson is going to have a challenge this season getting this squad ready for Big 12 play and may be his toughest assignment yet.
Will Grier 31/53 371 3 TD INT, 11 car 52 yards
Justin Crawford 13 car 106 yards
Gary Jennings 13 rec 189 yards TD
David Sills 9 rec 94 yards 2 TD