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Instant Recap: West Virginia Cruises To Win In Big 12 Opener Behind Grier’s Five Touchdowns

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This is how you respond in a conference opener after an unforeseen bye week

NCAA Football: Kansas State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

After being slowed down by an unscheduled bye week due to Hurricane Florence, Will Grier’s Heisman campaign got a huge shot in the arm as the West Virginia Mountaineers dominated the Kansas State Wildcats to a final score of 35-6.

Grier got off to what, I guess, could be considered a rocky start early, throwing an interception on West Virginia’s first drive of the game because of some miscommunication with wide receiver Marcus Simms on a deep pass.

It wasn’t until West Virginia’s third drive of the game that things got going in the right direction, when Simms caught a pass from Grier on the left sideline and took it 82-yards to put the Mountaineers up 7-0.

The game turned into the typical Kansas State game, filled with punts and missed field goals, until just over two and a half minutes remained in the first half. That’s when Grier and the Mountaineer offense went to work.

On a drive that started on Kansas State’s 39-yard line after the Wildcats ran the most inexplicable play on fourth down, Kennedy McKoy ran the ball down to the 1-yard line, allowing Grier to hit David Sills V on a quick slant for his second touchdown of the day.

Kansas State’s ensuing drive stalled out, and Grier manufactured a 7 play, 73-yard drive capped off by another touchdown to Sills - this time on a beautiful fade route from the 1-yard line - to send the Mountaineers into the locker room with a 21-0 lead.

As we’ve seen in the first two games of the season, West Virginia dominates the third quarter. After the Wildcats settled for a field goal on the opening drive of the second half, Will Grier threw his fourth touchdown of the evening, another beauty to Tevin Bush on the left sideline that went for 62-yards.

Seconds later, Grier capped off his night with another touchdown pass to Sills after the Wildcats fumbled the ball at their own 17-yard line.

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Key Takeaways:

  • West Virginia’s defense now has 31 tackles for loss through 3 games, after racking up 10 TFL against the Wildcats
  • Grier finished the night 25-of-35 passing for 356 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
  • David Long led the outstanding Mountaineer defense with 9 total tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
  • Marcus Simms caught 5 passes for 136 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • Sills finished with 10 receptions for 73 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Kennedy McKoy carried the ball 12 times for 73 yards
  • West Virginia converted 8-of-12 third down attempts, increasing their 3rd down conversion percentage on the season to 62%

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The Mountaineers travel to Lubbock, Texas next Saturday, where they’ll take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. That game will kick off at Noon ET. Broadcast details will be released shortly.