J.R.'S West Virginia Football Page
"A Mountaineer in Michigan"

Hello I'm J.R. Holmes, a Mountaineer living in Wixom, Michigan. Though I have Wolverines to the left and Spartans to the right, I will always be a MOUNTAINEER!!!!...Sound the battle cry


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A View of Mountaineer Field from the Goodyear Blimp

"College Park Classic"
Mountaineers outlast Turtles on last second Field Goal 40-37
Clint Trickett completes 37 of 49 passes for 511 yards and 4 TD's

West Virginia puts up 694 yards of total offense in game that should not have been close
Mountaineers blow early 22 point lead but fight through for last second victory

Next Up: Oklahoma Sooners at Mountaineer Field next Saturday Night at 7:30 PM on FOX Sports

Well Mountaineers the 51st edition of the “Tussle with the Turtles” proved to be one for the ages with a little bit of everything. The Mountaineers pulled out a much needed road victory at College Park Maryland against a good but not great Terrapin football team that will probably end up in a bowl game.

As I stated in last week’s update I viewed this game as a benchmark for how close West Virginia was to legitimately competing in the Big 12. Offensively West Virginia can compete against anyone in the Big 12, including the Baylor Bears if they can hang on to the football and improve their red zone offense for all 4 quarters of a football game. Thus far it appears this offense will be in the red zone many time in each game. They just need to score touchdowns more often when they get there.

The WVU Special Teams on the other hand are still a work in progress. Of course certain elements of the Special Teams are pretty solid such as junior punter Nick O’Toole who is averaging 42.8 yards a punt so far this season and sophomore placekicker Josh Lambert, the hero of yesterday with his last second 47 yard field goal to win the game is a solid kicker. Punt coverage does look shaky but hopefully this West Virginia offense will not have to punt very often. Through 3 games this season O’Toole has punted just 8 times, less than 3 per game.

Defensively WVU is much improved. They are still susceptible to the big play which they certainly need to address but then again most teams in division one College Football will give up their share of big plays in the course of a football game, you just need to limit them to as few as possible and play good red zone defense. This Mountaineer defense also still has some issues with mobile quarterbacks who can break contain as we saw yesterday with the Turtles senior quarterback C.J. Brown rushing for 161 yards on 18 carries including the 75 yard touchdown run to start the 3rd quarter.

I believe Oklahoma’s sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight, while mobile will not pose nearly the running threat that C.J. Brown did but it will take an outstanding effort by the Mountaineer defense to upset the #4 Sooners. Having said that I believe the West Virginia has a good chance to win the football game. If they could somehow jump out in front of the Sooners by a couple of scores as they did against Maryland it would certainly put Oklahoma in a place they are not used to dealing with.

As for this game, it was a tale of shifting momentum. WVU jumped out and punched the Turtles in the mouth with 28 points in a quarter and a half leading 28-6 with 6:09 to go in the 1st half. At that point senior quarterback Clint Trickett had already tossed 3 touchdown passes of 36 and 43 yards to speedster Mario Alford and 44 yards to Tricket’s favorite target Kevin White. At this point I truly expected the score to be something like 35 or even 42-13 at the half and the Turtles would mail it in for the second half. however……….Nobody told Maryland that this was the script!!. After the Mountaineers took the before mentioned 22 point lead the Turtles almost immediately woke up. On their next possession C.J. Brown hit Stefhon Diggs for a 77 yard touchdown on what had to be a broken play as Diggs was 20 yards behind everyone and suddenly it was a 28-13 game and the Turtles were fired up. On the ensuing possession WVU drove to the Maryland 39 and I thought they would answer the Turtles score when Trickett was intercepted by Maryland sophomore defensive back William Likely at the 29 to end the drive. After both teams traded punts the Turtles began their next drive at midfield after a WVU interference penalty and drove 50 yards in just 4 plays and cut the lead to 28-20 at halftime on a 26 yard TD pass to Jacquille Veil from backup quarterback Caleb Rowe who had just entered the game after C.J. Brown had taken a shot to the head.

Turtle quarterback C.J. Brown continued the momentum Maryland’s way by running 75 yards on the first play of the 2nd half and just like that it was a 28-27 game and I along with most Mountaineer fans were certainly sweating what could well have been an embarrassing Mountaineer loss after leading by 22 point mid way through the 1st half. On the ensuing series the Mountaineers would drive 42 yards to the Maryland 8 where on forth and 1 coach Holgorsen elected to go for it rather than take an almost automatic 31-27 lead. In hindsight it was a bad decision as Trickett was sacked at the Maryland 12 and the drive was over however the Mountaineers would ultimately get points just 4 plays later when they blocked a Maryland punt through the end zone for a safety and a 30-37 lead. On the ensuing “free kick” the Mountaineers would march 54 yards on 8 plays and take a 10 point lead 37-27 on an 11 yard pass from Trickett to sophomore receiver Daikiel Shorts and it appeared as though momentum had finally swung back to West Virginia.

However…..On their first drive of the 4th quarter Maryland punted from their own 42 which was mishandled by Jordan Thompson and the Turtles recovered at the West Virginia 8 yard line but had to settle for a 30 yard Brad Graddock field goal to make it a 7 point game with just over 11 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. On their ensuing possession the Mountaineers were forced to punt and Maryland defensive back Bill Likely returned the punt 69 yards for a touchdown and incredibly it was all tied a 37-37 and Maryland had again grabbed the momentum and got the large home crowd on their feet for the final 9:43of the game. After a Turtle punt WVU was again in position to score after driving 54 yards in 9 plays but a 43 yard Josh Lambert field goal attempt was blocked by Darius Kilgo.

After the Maryland offense again went 3 and out junior punter Nathan Renfro got of a career best 64 yard punt and the Mountaineers took over at their own 5 yard line with 2:35 to go in the game and drove 65 yards in 13 plays eating up all but 4 seconds of the 4th quarter and Josh Lambert banged it home from 47 yards out and the Mountaineers had a well earned victory in this long rivalry. The game wining drive had many crucial plays but two very important runs by junior tailback Dustin Garrison stood out. On 3rd and 8 at the WVU 22 yard line Garrison took a short pass from Trickett and somehow managed to get the 1st down. Then Garrison had a beautiful 10 yard run to the Turtle 39 yard line. It was great to see this young man who has overcome many injury issues have a big moment in this great victory.


Let’s start with Clint Trickett throwing for 511 yards and 4 touchdowns. Another outstanding game. Thus far on the season Trickett has completed 101 of 134 passes for 1224 yards and 7 touchdowns against just one interception. Equally impressing in this contest was Trickett’s favorite target Kevin White who caught 13 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. On the season White has caught 32 passes for 460 yards and 2 TDs. Mario Alford caught 11 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

Before leaving the game with what we hope was a minor shoulder injury Russell Shell had 98 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown. Shell displayed some tough running which should really payoff as we move into the Big 12 season. What has really been “running back by committee” at WVU thus far this season put up 183 rushing yards on 58 carries by 6 running backs, 7 if you count 6 Clint Trickett carries. I would like to see them run more effectively in the red zone as the Mountaineers certainly have the talent and offensive line to run the ball effectively. This WVU offense had 33 first downs and put up 694 yards of total offense off an astounding 108 offensive plays. Want offensive balance? How about 59 rushes and 49 passes.

Defensively the Mountaineers gave up a couple of brutal plays that both went for touchdowns. The 75 yard C.J. Brown run and the 77 yard pass to Stefon Diggs. The WVU defense did stop I believe 7 of the last 8 Maryland offensive drives which showed great mental toughness when they could have panicked with so many momentum swings.

Negatives have to also incude the Special Teams. Despite plocking a punt for a safety WVU did have a punt returned for a TD and another punt lost on a fumble and of course a blocked field goal and all 3 areas must improve during the course of Big 12 play and if they improve to become a solid unit then this football team can have an 8 win season or better. After all this is a much improved WVU squad with depth at most every position except quarterback but even that situation is better than last year.As bad as last season 4-8 team was if they win the two brutal losses at the end of the season to Kansas and Iowa state, teams that they led into the 4th quarter, they would have been 6-6 and gone to some low rent bowl game somewhere and the season would not have looked nearly as pitiful as it ended up.

So now the Mountaineers return home to host the Oklahoma Sooners next Saturday night on FOX Sports at 7:30 PM. .

Box Score of Maryland Game from ESPN.com.

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(P) Parents Day - (H) Homecoming - (M) Mountaineer Week - (V) Varsity Day - (N) Night

Click Opponents Name to visit Official University Website
Click Game Date for Box Score
Game Date Game Time Opponent/Location                 Event Televised    Game Score
08/30/14   3:30 PM  Alabama
 Crimson Tide
 Atlanta Georgia     
Chick-fil-A Classic ABC West Virginia                  23
#2 Alabama                     33
09/06/14 7:30 PM  Towson
 Morgantown, WV   
Non League Game Root Sports West Virginia                  54
Towson                             0
09/13/14 Noon  Maryland
 College Park, MD  
Rivalry Game
(51st Meeting)
Big Ten Network West Virginia                  40
Maryland                        37
09/20/14 7:30 PM  Oklahoma
 Morgantown, WV     
Big 12 Game FOX West Virginia                   
10/04/14 TBD  Kansas
 Morgantown, WV  
Big 12 Game
TBD West Virginia                 
10/11/14 TBD Texas Tech
Red Raiders
Lubbock, TX       
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia                
Texas Tech                          
10/18/14 TBD Baylor
Morgantown, WV
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia               
10/25/14 TBD Oklahoma State
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia              
Oklahoma St                     
11/01/14 TBD Texas Christian
Horned Frogs
Morgantown, WV     
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia              
11/08/14 TBD Texas
Austin, TX
Big 12 Game TBD West Virginia               
11/20/14 7:30 PM Kansas State
Morgantown, WV   
Big 12 Game
Senior Day
FOX Sports1 West Virginia              
Kansas St                         
11/29/14 TBD Iowa state
Ames, Iowa   
Big 12 Game
TBD West Virginia               
Iowa St                         

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