Countdown to Kickoff: Artie Owens Races for an 85-Yard TD vs. Va Tech

Owens' 85-yard touchdown run was the second longest in program history and currently ranks seventh
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The West Virginia Mountaineers are 85 days from the 2021 season opener versus an old familiar rival, the Maryland Terrapins. As the countdown continues to kickoff by jersey numbers and Mountaineer moments, we highlight some of the greats ever to wear the old gold and blue. Today, we look at former running back Artie Owens' 85-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech. 

On November 24, 1974, West Virginia held a 7-6 at halftime over the Virginia Tech Hokies, with the only touchdown coming off a 99-yard interception from Marcus Mauney. 

Owens was a dynamic player, as legendary play-by-play caller Jack Flemming described him, "....he runs north, south, east and west with an effortless determination that must be infuriating to an opponent. Artie's ability to stop change direction and slip tackles is just plain wonderful to watch."

Tech wouldn't be able to contain him as he took the handoff from quarterback Dan Kendra on the opening play of the second half and gashed the middle of the Virginia Tech defense, breaking tackles before outrunning the entire Hokie defense for an 85-yard touchdown to extend the Mountaineers lead 14-6.

Virginia Tech scored two unanswered touchdowns, along with converting a two-point conversion to grab a seven-point advantage with just over six minutes to play. However, with a minute and a half remaining in the game, Kendra delivered a 12-yard TD pass to Bernie Kirchner before head coach Bobby Bowden opted to go for the win. Marshall Mills hauled in the pass for the two-point conversion and the win.

Virginia Tech marched down the field, behind 30 yards of penalties, down to the WVU six-yard line. West Virginia blocked the first attempt, but a penalty for illegal procedure gave the Hokies another opportunity. However, the second kick went wide left as the Mountaineers held onto win 22-21. 

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