West Virginia downs TCU on the road, moves to 4-1
Garrett Greene started for WVU, Mountaineers take home big win.
FORT WORTH, TX. (WDTV) - UPDATE: Neal Brown spoke on Aubrey Burks on the ESPN broadcast, stating that Burks was moving and knew where he was. Brown hoped that Burks could come home with the team on the plane back to West Virginia.
West Virginia took home a big road win tonight, taking out TCU 24-21 to move to 4-1.
On a night where multiple players went down to injury, West Virginia proved their resilience all game long, and a great defensive performance mixed with an improved offensive showing helped West Virginia to a 2-0 record in the Big 12.
Garrett Greene returned from his ankle injury (suffered against Pittsburgh) to lead the offense, but after burning a timeout on the opening possession, the Mountaineers went 3-and-out.
TCU struck after less than a minute on offense, as QB Chandler Morris found JP Richardson on a quick slant - Richardson burned the secondary and went 59 yards for a touchdown, sending the Horned Frogs up 7-0 early.
The Mountaineers would quickly respond, and do so in important fashion, as Garrett Greene turned on the jets and ran 35 yards for a touchdown through the TCU defense, tying the game at 7 with 8 minutes left in the first.
On TCU’s next possession, West Virginia would force a missed field goal attempt from 53 yards, but the Horned Frogs would later strike at the start of the second from a 31-yard touchdown scramble from QB Morris (14-7 TCU).
A scary moment would come with about 8 minutes left in the second - on a WVU punt, TCU muffed the ball (and recovered it) around their own 10-yard line, but safety and WVU leader Aubrey Burks dove in to tackle and fight for the football. He took an awkward hit, and was then at the bottom of a pile of players - this resulted in a long stoppage as Burks was carefully carted off the field for a potential head or neck injury. Burks was taken to the hospital for evaluation, according to West Virginia Football’s X account.
West Virginia would respond with a 10 play, 43-yard drive that ended with a CJ Donaldson touchdown, tying the game at 14 - but once again, TCU responded to take the lead, as Dylan Wright caught a 36-yard TD pass from Morris. The Horned Frogs would have a 21-14 lead with just 24 seconds on the clock.
The Mountaineers were able to get back in field goal range prior to the end of the half, and Michael Hayes’ field goal went through, but it was called back for a false start, and he missed the second attempt from 58 yards.
TCU took the lead into the break, 21-14.
Into the second half, the Mountaineers started to string a drive together, going 41 yards down the field to the TCU 29 - they elected to go for it on 4th and 5, but did not convert, handing the ball back to TCU.
The Mountaineer defense stood strong once again, and the offense was able to get back on the board, as Garrett Greene dove into the end zone once more, tying the game at 21 halfway through the third quarter (although starting guard Tomas Rimac was injured on the PAT attempt).
West Virginia then led a great drive, going 60 yards to the TCU goal line, but on 4th and goal, CJ Donaldson was stuffed, and WVU came away with zero points on a great opportunity.
Into the 4th, WVU would get the ball back in TCU territory - they didn’t go far, but got just far enough, as Michael Hayes kicked a 49-yard field goal in to put WVU up 24-21. However, on the 3rd down play prior to the kick, Garrett Greene appeared to reaggravate his ankle injury, and limped off the field.
More injury woes would return for the Mountaineers, as freshman linebacker Trey Lathan would also need to be carted off the field after sustaining a leg injury in the 4th quarter.
TCU’s offense began to string together a solid drive, but the Mountaineers pushed back, forcing a field goal attempt - TCU rushed it with time running out, and the kick went into the line and was blocked, giving WVU the ball back with 4:47 on the clock.
But from there, the Mountaineers went 3 and out, and were forced to punt the ball back to the Horned Frogs once again, leaving 3:00 in the 4th.
On the final drive of the game for TCU, the Frogs started to drive quickly, but the Mountaineer defense held firm as they reached midfield, pushing TCU into a 4th down for a 55 yard field goal attempt.
Griffin Kell, TCU’s kicker, had gone 0/2 on field goals to this point - and this time, it was blocked (the second block of the night) and West Virginia took over once and for all.
Greene and the WVU offense kneeled the ball down to run out the clock, and West Virginia - in a shocking upset (TCU favored by nearly 2 touchdowns in sports books nationwide), pulled off the upset, and are now 4-1, just 2 wins away from bowl eligibility as they head into the bye week.
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