On a Saturday filled with a few upsets, and even more close calls, the West Virginia Mountaineers were able to avoid the trap set by Bo Pelini and Youngstown State, putting the Penguins away in the second half.
Ka’Raun White scored his first career touchdown to put West Virginia on the board in the first quarter, but a sluggish start to the second quarter found the Mountaineers down 14-7 to the Penguins after Youngstown State quarterback Ricky Davis found University of Florida transfer Alvin Bailey on a 74-yard touchdown pass. The Mountaineers managed to tie the game back up with 3 minutes remaining in the first half after Skyler Howard connected with Shelton Gibson for Gibson’s first touchdown of the season. West Virginia had a chance to take a three point lead into the half, but Mike Molina’s kick was just wide left.
The Mountaineers came out firing after Youngstown State punted the ball away to start the second half as Skyler Howard proved THE FADE DOES WORK, connecting with Daikiel Shorts for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Mountaineers on top. A field goal and another Shelton Gibson 50+ yard touchdown reception put West Virginia up 17 points going into the 4th.
Youngstown State fired back with a 15-yard touchdown run after a 9-play, 57-yard drive, but West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen wasn’t ready to take his foot off the gas and Skyler Howard found true freshman running back Kennedy McKoy with a 21-yard touchdown pass, putting the final nail in the Penguin’s coffin. Al-Rasheed Benton picked off Youngstown State quarterback Ricky Davis to seal the deal.
Skyler Howard finished the day with 20/33 passing for 389 yards and five touchdowns, tying his career best. Wide receiver Shelton Gibson hauled in 6 passes for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns, Daikiel Shorts grabbed 6 for 93 yards and a touchdown, Ka’Raun White had 5 for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Mountaineer running backs were mostly silent today, Rushel Shell carried the ball 16 times for 84 yards and Justin Crawford picked up 40 yards on 12 carries.
The Mountaineers have a bye next week and will begin to prepare for their showdown with the Cougars of Brigham Young University in the nation’s capital on September 24th.