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West Virginia Football: Top Ten Plays Of 2015 Season - Number Six

We're going to take a look back at the plays that defined the Mountaineers season in 2015. The Mountaineers traveled to Kansas was where our number six play took place.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
The play:

2nd and 10 at KU 23 (11:15 - 1st) Ryan Willis pass intercepted for a TD Terrell Chestnut return for 32 yds for a TD, (Josh Lambert KICK)

The setup:

The Mountaineers were extremely streaky in 2015. They started the season with 3 straight wins. They followed that with 4 losses in October. As the weather turned colder and the calendar turned to November, the Mountaineers found themselves winning again. They survived against Texas, soundly beat Texas and took their new found confidence into Lawrence, Kansas.

This game had all the makings of a sloppy, error-filled, mistake-prone, lazy game. The Jayhawks were winless and bad. They ranked near the bottom in total offense and defense. The game was in Lawrence and less than 10,000 people were expected to show up. The weather was cold and in reality, the Mountaineers simply needed to get a win and get out. A win put the team at bowl eligible.

The Mountaineers came out and immediately went 3-and-out, losing 4 yards on an Elijah Wellman fumble. The Mountaineers were able to get the ball back almost immediately when Terrell Chestnut recovered a fumble. Rushel Shell turned that fumble into paydirt with an 8-yard rushing score.

On Ryan Willis' second pass of the series, Terrell Chestnut stepped in front of Tre' Parmalee at the Kansas 34, wrestled the ball away from Parmalee and immediately took off towards the endzone. Safety Jarrod Harper lead the way and made a critical block of quarterback Ryan Willis, who gave a valiant chase. Chestnut took his second turnover of the game back to the house.

Why it's a top ten play:

Chestnut was one of the unsung heroes for the 2015 defense. He wasn't the flashy guy on the defense nor was he the number one corner. But when the chips were down and the defense needed a play, you could find Terrell there doing what he does best, making plays.

Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson credited Chestnut's early turnovers for the reason the defense was able to pitch a second shutout last season. The team came out sluggish and looked like it was headed toward a ho-hum day that no one would remember. Chestnut's early play made sure that Kansas knew there would be no upset today and there would be no let up.

Within the span of three first-quarter snaps, Terrell Chestnut jarred loose a Kansas fumble and plucked a pick-six, staking West Virginia to a two-score lead within the opening 4 minutes.

"From that point on we looked like sharks on both sides of the ball," said defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. "It was a feeding frenzy."

- Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson


Previous Entries

2015 Top Ten Plays - Number Ten

2015 Top Ten Plays - Number Nine

2015 Top Ten Plays - Number Eight

2015 Top Ten Plays - Number Seven