MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–During the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game, the West Virginia University defense defeated the offense 44-21 at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Besides two long offensive plays, the defense shut down the offense, allowing only three touchdowns. One of those came from former Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith to Shelton Gibson.
Wearing street clothes, Smith fired a laser pass down field into Gibson’s arms, who outran the defense into the end zone, completing the 85-yard pass.
“I got bored,” head coach Dana Holgorsen joked. “I looked over to the sidelines and I said, ‘He’s made a whole bunch of plays, he’s made a whole bunch of plays, he’s made a whole bunch of plays and he’s made a whole bunch of plays, they never played together, so I said to Jake (offensive coordinator Jake Spavital), ‘Get those guys out there.’”
Quarterback Will Grier completed 12-of-18 passes for 202 yards. David Sills led the wide receivers with six catches for 96 yards.
“He looked pretty good to me,” Holgorsen said of Grier. “He’s as good as advertised. I just like the kid’s demeanor. He’s got complete control of the huddle. It’s going to be different when it’s live because we’re obviously protecting him right now. There have been a bunch of spring games and spring practices over the course of the last four years when I was protecting the quarterbacks.
Ricky Rogers had one catch for 60 yards. Jovon Durante had four catches for 52 yards. Gary Jennings caught five passes for 46 yards.
Backup quarterback Chris Chugunov completed 10-of-22 passes for 98 yards.
Jovanni Stewart led the defense with five tackles.
The offense jumped out to a 7-0 lead after Justin Crawford’s 51-yard touchdown run.
A poor exchange between Grier and Martell Pettaway resulted in a fumble recovered by the defense and cutting the offense’s lead to 7-6.
The defense took a 17-7 lead after forcing a three-and-out.
Grier complete a 60-yard pass to Ricky Rogers and Pettaway took it to the end zone with a three-yard carry, cutting the defense’s lead to 28-14.
However, it was all defense from there on out. Tony Gibson’s dawgs forced seven tackles for losses, broke up six passes and recovered a fumble in the red zone.