2nd and 5 at GASO 41 (10:54 - 1st) Skyler Howard pass complete to Jovon Durante for 41 yds for a TD, (Josh Lambert KICK)
West Virginia began the 2015 season extremely conservative. The game log shows that the Mountaineers ran the ball six times before they ever threw a pass. The first pass went to Jordan Thompson for 10 yards and a first down. After 5-yard run by Rushel Shell, Skyler Howard snapped the ball and immediately checked for Durante. Durante had his corner beat and Howard unleashed a throw down the right sideline.
The ball was slightly underthrown, a problem for Skyler all year, but Durante was able to adjust. Leaping at the three yard line, Jovon Durante twisted 180 degrees and cradled the ball while his momentum carried him into the end zone. He was able to get a foot down and give the Mountaineers their first score of the season.
Why it's a top ten play:
Jovon entered the 2015 season as the highest rated recruit of the signing class. He arrived on campus late and was forced to wear a green jersey as part of the NCAA's requirement about no contact for the first three days. Despite arriving late and being unable to participate in the full contact, Durante made his presence known early.
"I knew it because I recruited the kid," WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider responded when asked about Durante’s speed displayed in Thursday’s practice. "They’re starting to see what I saw and why everyone wanted the kid. I mean, he’s a blur. I think he was running around in the green jersey the first couple of days and you’re like, ‘dang, who’s that kid screening across?’ You know, can you [even] see the jersey?"
To be honest, it was somewhat difficult to see Durante’s jersey during kick return drills on Thursday. He was easily the fastest player on the field. Even his teammates were in a daze watching him glide past defenders. - WVIllustrated.com
This play represented hope for fans. Hope that the 2014 season wasn't a mirage. Hope that the 2015 season could be magical. Hope that Jovon Durante and Skyler Howard could develop the chemistry that Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey had.
This play is also helped by the athletic ability of Durante. The ability to leap and adjust to the ball in the air. The body control to get a foot down in the corner of the endzone. The abilty to steal the ball from the defender. All of those abilities came together in this play.