LANDOVER, Md. — The Mountaineers defense makes three crucial interceptions to hold off Brigham Young University in the 35-32 victory at Fed Ex Field in front of 38,207 fans.
Offenses battled back-and-forth Saturday afternoon but ultimately the 4-1 BYU turnovers edged the Mountaineers to victory.
The interceptions resulted in 56 yards by Maurice Fleming, Rasul Douglas and Jeremy Tyler. Fleming’s interception off of a deflected pass kept the Cougars out of the end zone to take the lead with a minute remaining in the game.
With the score at 35-32 WVU (3-0) and BYU (1-3) forcing a three-and-out, Tyler’s interception came after Taysom Hill’s pass at its 14-yard line. Douglas’ pick was returned for a 54-yard touchdown before half-time.
On offense, led by Skyler Howard and Shelton Gibson, Howard came out firing and connected with six different receivers in the opening drive that ended with a Rushel Shell 6-yard touchdown. Gibson kept the West Virginia offense fighting with four touches resulting in 144 yards and with a long ball of 51 yards. Ka’Raun White added 39 yards receiving.
Shell crossed the goal line twice in the first half tallying 36 yards on the afternoon. Junior college transfer running back Justin Crawford saw more action on the field adding 86 yards off of nine rushes to his Mountaineer resume.
With a rushing touchdown of his own, Howard finished the game with 322 yards, 31-40 passing and one interception.
BYU kept fighting by converting 10 of 15 third downs to keep drives alive and scoring after all five trips to the red zone. While WVU found a rhythm in the air, BYU found success on the ground with Jamaal Williams’ 24 rushes for 170 yards and Hill’s 107 rushing yards. BYU totaled 287 rushing and 241 receiving yards to WVU’s 157 rushing and 332 receiving yards.
With the win, the Mountaineers remain one of two Big 12 teams undefeated so far this season as Baylor takes on Oklahoma State Saturday evening.
WVU returns to Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday, October 1 for homecoming with a 3:30 p.m. kick-off to being conference play against Kansas State.
Featured image courtesy of Shanna Rose, BGS.