West Virginia (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) rode into Fort Worth as two-touchdown underdogs and pulled off a stunning upset, defeating the TCU Horned Frogs, 24-21, on Saturday night. The Mountaineers managed to secure the win despite several key players suffering injuries.
The game began with junior quarterback Garrett Greene back in action for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in the Backyard Brawl. However, the Mountaineers’ first offensive series did not go as planned, resulting in a quick three-and-out.
TCU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) seized the opportunity, scoring a touchdown in less than a minute into their first offensive possession. Quarterback Chandler Morris connected with wide receiver JP Richardson for a 59-yard touchdown, giving the Horned Frogs an early 7-0 lead.
The Mountaineers quickly responded. Greene, showing no signs of lingering injury, sprinted for a 35-yard rushing touchdown, evening the score at 7-7 with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
Despite a promising TCU drive, the Mountaineer defense held firm and forced a missed field goal attempt from 53 yards.
The second quarter kicked off with a Chandler Morris 31-yard touchdown run, putting the Horned Frogs ahead 14-7. However, the game took a scary turn as safety Aubrey Burks suffered an injury while making a tackle during a WVU punt. Burks was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Neal Brown later revealed in the post-game interview that Burks was able to move and knew where he was.
West Virginia mounted a response with a 10-play, 43-yard drive, finished off by a CJ Donaldson touchdown, tying the game at 14. Still, TCU managed to snatch the lead once more with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Wright, entering halftime with a 21-14 advantage.
The third quarter saw the Mountaineers take the momentum, despite turning the ball over on downs — going for it on 4th & 5 from the 29-yard line — on their first drive of the half.
West Virginia’s defense really began to step up as the game progressed, forcing a punt on each of TCU’s three third-quarter drives.
Greene evened the score at 21 with his second rushing touchdown of the night. On their next drive, the Mountaineers missed an opportunity to potentially seal the game on third down, as CJ Donaldson failed to get into the endzone from TCU’s two-yard line.
West Virginia eventually regained the lead in the fourth quarter with a 49-yard field goal by Michael Hayes, but not before injury concerns resurfaced as Greene limped off the field.
Freshman linebacker Trey Lathan joined the list of injured Mountaineers in the fourth quarter, needing a cart to leave the field with what appeared to be a broken leg.
TCU threatened with a game-tying field goal, but the Mountaineers blocked the attempt, giving them the ball back with just under five minutes to play.
West Virginia struggled to move the ball and was forced to punt, giving TCU one last chance. Their final drive fell short as West Virginia’s defense held steady, with Sean Martin blocking what would have been the game-tying field goal.
Greene finished the night 10-of-21 passing for 142 yards, while also racking up 80 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries (6.7 yards per). Donaldson finished with 22 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown. Jaheim White looked impressive, finishing with 46 yards on five carries. Hudson Clement led receivers with three catches for 43 yards.
The Mountaineer defense was led by Lee Kpogba with 11 tackles and one sack. Tomi Durojaiye, Jared Bartlett, Edward Vesterinen, Tyrin Bradley, Mike Lockhart, and Jalen Thronton took turns in the backfield, combining for three sacks and nine tackles for loss.
The Mountaineers have a bye next weekend as they prepare for a Thursday night showdown with Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars on October 12th. The game will be broadcast on FS1, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.