MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Rushel Shell rushed for 117 yards and No.12 West Virginia University smoked TCU 34-10 on Saturday afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Mike Molina’s 26-yard field goal with 2:23 remaining was the final nail in the Horned Frogs’ coffin.
Senior quarterback Skyler Howard was 16-of-23, throwing for 231 yards and four touchdowns.
Daikiel Shorts had 74 yards and one touchdown. Ka’Raun White added 42 yards and one touchdown. Jovon Durante had 40 yards.
The Mountaineers’ defense came up big for a second straight week, holding TCU to 300 total yards of offense. The defense forced three sacks, had five tackles for loss and one interception.
“Obviously, I’m proud of the guys,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said. ““We were extremely efficient on offense, played great on defense, and special teams as well. Complete game. Feels good to be 6-0.”
WVU began the second half on a roll but several penalties in the red zone left the Mountaineers settling with a field goal. Molina connected on a 38-yard kick through the upright to put WVU ahead 24-12 with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter.
Howard found White for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Mountaineers a commanding 31-10 lead with 1:02 remaining in the third.
Special teams followed the touchdown with another big play when Shane Commodore forced Deante Gray to fumble the ball
WVU came out firing at the beginning of the game. On the kickoff Marvin Gross forced Gray to fumble, which was recovered by Nana Kyeremeh at the TCU 17-yard line.
On the offensive side of the ball Shorts caught a 10-yard pass from Howard to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead.
WVU wasn’t done there. Rasul Douglas picked off Hill’s pass and returned it 37-yards to the TCU 33 but the offense was unable to capitalize.
Howard completed a 36-yard pass to Shorts before finding Shelton Gibson in the end zone to give the
Mountaineers a 14-0 lead with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The Horned Frogs came firing back when the WVU defense failed to stop Hicks. The speedy back had several carries, setting up for a first-and-goal at the seven but back-to-back penalties on the TCU gave the Mountaineers new life and left the Horned Frogs settling for a field goal.
After several missed tackles Hill found Jaelan Austin for an 11-yard touchdown pass to complete a 76-yard, 12-play drive to pull TCU within four with 12:20 remaining in the second quarter.
Minutes later Shell answered with a 28-yard run on a well-blocked screen pass before Howard connected with sophomore wide out Gary Jennings, who was left wide open in the flat for his first touchdown of the season to give the Mountaineers a 21-10 advantage with 10:20 left in the first half.
“I was starting to get concerned,” Holgorsen said. “They started to get in a little rhythm on offense and they went down there and scored, and at that point in time, the time of possession wasn’t good.”
Hill completed 18-of-31 for the Horned Frogs. He threw for 148 yards and one touchdown.
Hicks rushed for 103 yards.
WVU’s Howard moved into fourth all-time in career touchdown passes.
The Mountaineers will travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State next Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS