Ft. Worth, TX – The West Virginia Mountaineers end their season by ending the postseason hopes of the Texas Christian Horned Frogs Saturday evening with a surprising 20-17 win. The Mountaineer defense stepped up again holding their opponent to 20-points or less in the final three games of the season, while the offense did just enough to pull off the upset.
On the opening drive, TCU was methodically driving the ball down the field until Max Duggan tried to squeeze a pass in the middle of the defense and Sean Mahone jarred the ball loose into the hands of Tykee Smith, returning deep into Horned Frogs territory to the 14-yard line.
West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege hit Sean Ryan over the middle and he muscled his way for 10 yards and the first down. Two plays later, Doege tossed a swing pass to Leddie Brown on the right side and he walked into the endzone for the touchdown.
A Jet sweep to Taye Barber for 64 yards put TCU to the WVU 11 and just three plays later, Sewo Olonilua carried it in to tie the game at seven.
On the ensuing possession, Doege threw a deep ball that drifted to the inside and Julius Lewis made a diving grab in front of receiver Ali Jennings for the interception.
Early in the second quarter, Duggan’s found tight end Artayvious Lynn and Jalen Reagor wide open on consecutive for a combined 38 yards down to the West Virginia seven-yard line. However, the Mountaineer defense bowed up and held TCU to a field goal.
Doege and Brown responded on back-to-back swing passes for 37 yards, then a snag on a shallow cross on third and seven to TJ Simmons moved the chains. Nonetheless, the Mountaineers were held to just three more yards before Evan Staley snuck a 40-yard field goal inside the right post.
After Doege threw his third pick of the game and the Mountaineer offense followed it up with an uninspiring three and out, Reagor fielded a 46-yard Josh Growden punt and immediately got upfield for a 70-yard touchdown giving TCU a 17-10 lead.
West Virginia was forced to punt on their next possession, but the defense again made another play when Sean Mahone intercepted Duggan’s pass at midfield.
Then on the first play from scrimmage, Kennedy McKoy ripped off a 36-yard run (the longest rush of the season) down to the TCU 11-yard line. Nonetheless, after two straight running plays and a pass short of the stick, the Mountaineers settled for a 24-yard Evan Staley field goal.
West Virginia got one more chance to construct a game-winning drive with 4:47 left to go in the game. The Mountaineers appeared as if they were going to be held to a three and out but elected to go for it on fourth and one and a pass interference gave West Virginia a first down.
Just three plays later, the Mountaineers were facing a third and 12 but a targeting penalty on Ross Blacklock awarded West Virginia another first down.
Then on second and 10, Doege delivered a beautiful pass to Isaiah Isdale on a flag pattern as he tip-toed his way into the endzone to give West Virginia a 20-17 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
The West Virginia defense gave up a first down but only 13 yards in total as they held the Horned Frogs to a turnover on downs.
The Mountaineers were unable to pick up the first down to end the game as TCU used all three of their timeouts to get the ball back with 46 seconds remaining.
However, it was only fitting the defense to make one last stand and with 27 seconds left and TCU confronting a fourth down and fifteen, Darius Stills wrapped up Duggan and he tried to get the ball downfield but it falls incomplete as West Virginia held on to a 20-17 upset win.