WVU Overcomes Miscues To Score Easy Win Against K-State
The Mountaineers weren’t perfect, but they were more than good enough to pull away for a 35-6 victory over Kansas State Saturday in Morgantown.
WVU had four turnovers and missed several other opportunities, but its defense stifled the Wildcats much of the way to overcome any offensive mistakes. West Virginia’s first five drives all went into Wildcat territory, but two turnovers and other miscues kept West Virginia from running out to a big, early lead.
The Mountaineers did assume a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after 82-yard TD catch-and-run by Marcus Simms on a pass from Will Grier.
That remained the only score of the game for the first 26 minutes. But then West Virginia’s defense came up with a big play, stuffing a K-State option on fourth-and-inches at the Wildcats’ 39-yard line. WVU took advantage of the short field, as Grier hit David Sills on a quick slant for a one-yard touchdown with 2:31 left in the half. Then after a three-and-out by the KSU offense, Grier got into a rhythm and drove WVU 73 yards on seven plays in 55 seconds. A one-yard fade to Sills with two seconds left in the half gave the Mountaineers the 21-0 lead heading into the lockerroom.
Grier completed 19-of-25 passes for 258 yards in the first half with three touchdowns, though he did have an interceptions, his second of the season. Simms had four catches for 118 yards, while Sills had seven for 56 yards. Gary Jennings and T.J. Simmons each had three receptions for 31 yards. Kennedy McKoy led WVU’s ground game with six carries for 46 yards. As a team, WVU had 62 rushing yards and 258 passing.
Kansas State (2-2) was limited to 77 yards of total offense in the first half with 20 rushing and 57 passing. KSU QB Skylar Thompson completed seven-of-10 yards. Alex Barnes topped the Wildcat rushing effort with seven carries for 19 yards.
K-State’s opening drive of the second half resulted in a field goal to narrow WVU’s lead to 21-3, but the Mountaineers immediately struck back on a 62-yard pass from Grier to Tevin Bush, upping West Virginia’s lead to 28-3 with 9:01 left in the third quarter. A third TD reception for Sills added to WVU’s lead. Sills has four games of three touchdown catches in his career. It was also Grier’s fifth TD pass of the game, giving him five games with five scoring tosses, which is the most of any Mountaineer in school history. But Grier threw his second interception late in the first half to take a little of the glow after his performance that at one point saw him complete 16 of 19 passes.
West Virginia takes its 3-0 record to Lubbock next week, where it will meet Texas Tech at noon on ESPN2.