West Virginia runs all over Cincinnati, 42-21
The Bearcats renewed an old Big East rivalry on Saturday as Scott Satterfield and his football team traveled to Morgantown for a 2:30 kickoff against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Cincinnati picked up their first Big 12 win last Saturday with a 24-14 road win over the Houston Cougars.
West Virginia started the season 4-1, but have since lost 2-of-3 including last week's 59-20 loss at Oklahoma.
The two teams have shown an elite ability to run the football, so whichever team was able to stop the run, was likely who was going to come out on top.
(Photo Credit: Brandan Wesson - Wessography)
West Virginia received the opening kickoff and drove to the Cincinnati 28 yard line but a holding call pushed them back ten yards. Two plays later, the Mountaineers' Michael Hayes attempted a 52 yard field goal that came up short.
Cincinnati's first possession started with Brady Lichtenberg getting his start under center at quarterback. The UC offense ended up going three and out but Mason Fletcher was able to pin the Mountaineers on their own 9 yard line with a 48 yard punt,
West Virginia came in to this game with the 7th best rushing offense in the country and would show why on their second possession of the game.
Aided by a 15 yard defensive passing interference on Kalen Carroll, West Va would march 91 yards on 14 plays over the next 6:42. Garrett Greene capped of the scoring drive with a 3 yard touchdown run on 4th and 1 from the UC 3 yard line.
During the scoring drive, West Virginia ran for 71 yards on 10 carries. Greene totaled 32 of those yards on 3 carries while Jaheim White gashed the Bearcats defense for 33 yards on 3 carries.
Cincinnati's secondary has struggled at times throughout this season defending the deep pass.
On the next West Virginia possession, Garrett Greene hooked up with Jaheim White for a 75 yard touchdown pass. The scoring drive took just 4 plays and 2:01 off the clock as the Mountaineers extended their lead to 14-0 with 12:52 remaining in the 2nd qtr.
Through the first 17:08 of the game, West Virginia was outgaining Cincinnati 216-30.
West Virginia would extend their lead with 6:07 remaining in the 2nd quarter with a 13 yard CJ Donaldson scoring run. The two play, 40 yard drive took just 57 seconds and was set up by a 27 yard Garrett Greene run.
The UC offense would finally get going on the next possession with Brady Lichtenberg coming on to lead an 11 play 75 yard drive over 4:35 to get the Bearcats on the board.
Corey Kiner picked up 25 yards on 4 rushes, while Lichtenberg had 32 yards on 2 rushes. The key play of the drive was a busted play where Lichtenberg fumbled the snap, evaded the rush, and found Evan Prater for a 22 yard completion. Lichtenberg picked up 17 yards on the next play to the WVU 1 yard line and Emory Jones capped the drive off with a 1 yard qb sneak.
With 1:32 remaining in the half, the Bearcats were on the board trailing 21-7.
It looked like UC would go in to the half with some momentum but West Virginia responded with a 4 play, 75 yard touchdown drive that took just 52 seconds off the clock.
Garrett Greene started the drive with a 30 yard run and ended the drive with a 26 yard run. At the half, Greene was up to 136 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
As a team, West Virginia outgained UC 338-139 through the first two quarters. The Mountaineers averaged 10.2 yards per play during the first 30 minutes.
Needing some momentum to start the second half, Emory Jones completed a 3rd and 10 pass to Xzavier Henderson to keep the opening drive going. A 2 yard Jones keeper followed by two incompletions would force the Cats to punt.
West Virginia took over at their own 12 and marched down the field for another touchdown as Garret Greene scored his 3rd rushing touchdown of the day to extend the West Virginia lead to 35-7 with 4:39 left in the 3rd quarter. The 12 play, 88 yard drive took 7:09.
West Virginia continued to pile on as they extended their lead to 42-7 with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The 6 play, 74 yard drive was capped off by a 4 yard run by Jaheim White.
The touchdown run for White upped his game total to 109 yards on just 15 carries.
Through the first 3 quarters, Garrett Greene was 11-of-17 passing for 208 yards and had 154 yards on 11 rushes. The last West Virginia quarterback to rush and throw for 130 yards in the same game was Pat White, who played at West Va from 2004-2008.
Despite the lopsided score through three quarters, the Bearcats kept fighting and opened the 4th quarter with a 6 play 96 yard scoring drive that took 3:02.
Facing a 3rd and 15, Emory Jones found Xzavier Henderson down the sideline for a 55 yard gain. On the next play Satterfield drew up a flea flicker that led to a 30 yard Jones to Metayer touchdown to cut the deficit to 42-14 with 12:29 remaining in the game.
As we had seen all game, the defensive struggles to stop the run continued on the next West Va drive.
Jahiem White started the drive with 21 and 47 yard gains to move the Mountaineer offense to the UC 7. After a delay of game and tripping call on Jahiem White erased a touchdown, the Mountaineers would find themselves in a 3rd and goal from the 23.
On the next play, Greene was intercepted by Ken Willis and returned for 16 yards. The interception was Willis' second of the season.
The Bearcats would put together one last scoring drive with 5:11 remaining in the game to make the final score 42-21. The 10 play, 83 yard drive was capped off with a 7 yard touchdown from Jones to Metayer.
Final Stats and Thoughts:
- The West Virginia offense rolled up 634 yards on just 65 plays. That is good for 9.8 yards per play. The run defense really struggled as Jahiem White (21 rush 204 yds) and Garrett Greene (11 rush 154 yds) combined for 358 of West Virginia's 424 rush yards.
- Emory Jones led the offense going 14-24 for 166 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. He added 56 yards on 10 carries. Brady Lichtenberg was solid during his few drives but ended up getting banged up on the touchdown scoring drive right before the half that ended his night.
- Big plays were a big reason for West Virginia's success tonight. They rolled up 508 yards on just 22 plays.
- Xzavier Henderson led the receivers with 104 yards on 6 carries. Chamon Metayer had 37 yards on 3 catches but added 2 touchdowns.
- Corey Kiner rushed 13 times for 56 yards. He is now 59 yards shy of reaching 1,000 for the year.
At the end of the day, this was an old fashioned butt whipping. The West Virginia offensive line opened up holes all night long for Jahiem White and quarterback Garrett Greene looked to run at any time he saw an opportunity. West Virginia schemed this Bearcats' defense perfectly and combined with the offensive struggles through the first three quarters, it led to a lopsided loss.
Not many positives to take away from a loss like this but it was good to see Ken Willis get an interception in the red zone and it lead to an offensive touchdown. When talking about complimentary football, that is what Scott Satterfield is referring to.
Senior day v Kansas inside Nippert Stadium
Postgame Talk with Scott Satterfield, Daniel Grzesiak, Emory Jones