Grier, Offense Pummel Pirates As West Virginia Rolls

Grier, Offense Pummel Pirates As West Virginia Rolls

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Will Grier threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns and Justin Crawford added 118 and two more scores on the ground as West Virginia waxed East Carolina 56-20 on Saturday.

Fresh off throwing for 371 yards – the most for any Mountaineer quarterback in his debut – Grier lit up a poor Pirate secondary, completing 19-of-25 passes, including scores of 75 and 52 yards. The junior had 329 yards and four touchdowns by the half, and played the first three series of the third quarter before sitting the remainder of the game.

He finished with five touchdown passes, becoming just the seventh Mountaineer in school history to accomplish the feat.

West Virginia had seven scoring drives in the first half, none of which took took longer than 2:16. Four drives were less than one minute, and three scoring plays went for more than 40 yards. Crawford ran for touchdowns of 41 and five yards, while David Sills caught three scoring passes, including a 75-yarder just before the half. The wideout continued to show his timing and chemistry with Grier in amassing more than 150 yards before mass substitutions late in the third quarter. Sills has five touchdowns in two games.

The game was a continuation of the excellence flashed by Grier in the opener. East Carolina never had a handle on WVU’s receivers, and Grier routinely shredded the secondary in racking up his second straight 300-plus yard game to start his WVU career. While Grier’s 371 yards against Virginia Tech were the 20th-best single-game passing performance in school history, his 352 yards today are just seven from ranking in the Top 25.

West Virginia also showed balance with the run, using it at times to set-up the pass and gashing ECU for 176 yards by the end of the third quarter. The fourth was largely irrelevant, with both teams simply playing out the final 15 minutes.

Kyzir White intercepted two passes and broke up another to anchor a solid defensive effort. East Carolina’s two interceptions give the Pirates five on the season thus far, including four in the red zone. ECU quarterback Thomas Sirk threw for 191 yards, but never truly threatened the Mountaineers, who advanced to 14-0 all-time in the series at home.

East Carolina has now lost 11 of its last 13, and remains winless in Morgantown. WVU leads the all-time series 19-3 and has won seven straight home openers under Dana Holgorsen. The Mountaineers are 15-1 at home in nonconference games under Holgorsen, and reached the 600-yard mark for the 16th time during Holgorsen’s tenure.