WVU vs. Bowling Green Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU vs. Bowling Green Game Recap

Nick Arthur, Morgantown -


No. 22 West Virginia overcame an early deficit and inclement weather on its way to a 55-10 victory over visiting Bowling Green State University Saturday afternoon.

"I just told them downstairs, don't ever take a victory for granted," West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We earned this one. Bouncing back from last week's disappointing loss, we were able to commit and get the win."

Bowling Green fumbled the opening kickoff and gave West Virginia great field possession on its first drive of the game.

"It was fun to see that on the first play after we've been talking all week about not being able to get turnovers," Holgorsen said.

But, after the fumble, the Mountaineers only managed one first down and were forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Bitancurt.

The Falcons responded on the ensuing kickoff. Defensive back Jerry Gates returned the kick to the West Virginia 18-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz found wide receiver Ray Hutson for a touchdown, giving the Falcons an early 7-3 advantage.

The Bowling Green offense was able to capitalize on a 14-yard punt by West Virginia punter Corey Smith, by adding a field goal to extend its lead to 10-3.

The Mountaineer offense got on track midway through the first quarter. Consistent running by Dustin Garrison opened up the pass for quarterback Geno Smith. Smith found wide receiver Ivan McCartney for a 33-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 10 apiece.

 Running back Shawne Alston capped off another West Virginia touchdown drive with an 8–yard run on his first carry of the game. The Mountaineers led 17-10.

Cornerback Keith Tandy recorded his first of two interceptions on the day during the next Falcons' offensive possession, as the first quarter came to an end.

Running back Dustin Garrison's 85 first quarter rushing yards were the most by a Mountaineer in a game this season.

The second quarter began with another West Virginia touchdown. Geno Smith found wide receiver Ryan Nehlen for his first collegiate touchdown reception.

"It was a perfect day," Nehlen said. "Coming in I had a good week of practice and thought today might be the day."

Garrison added to the best game of his career in the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown rush, extending West Virginia's lead to 31-10.  

The offensive efficiency for the Mountaineers continued, when Geno Smith hit Brad Starks for a 6-yard touchdown pass. West Virginia took a 38-10 lead into the locker room.

Even though the Bowling Green offense faced short fields throughout the first half, the West Virginia defense did an effective job of forcing punts.

Garrison rushed for his second touchdown of the game on West Virginia's first drive of the third quarter, giving the Mountaineers' a lead to 45-10. Garrison finished the game with 32 carries for 291 yards. His 291 rushing yards were the most by a freshman in school history.

"Everybody was doing their job," Garrison said. "Linemen were finishing blocks, receivers down field were finishing blocks, that's what happens when everyone works together."

Following Garrison's impressive performance, coach Holgorsen simply stated, "I think we found a running back."

Shawne Alston scored his second touchdown of the game with 7:52 remaining in the fourth quarter to give West Virginia a 55-10 lead.

Due to impressive running from Garrison and Alston, Geno Smith was used sparingly. Smith finished 18-30 for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"When Garrison is running like that, it gets frustrating for the defense," Smith said. "That's what great about this offense. Once everything gets clicking, I think we can be special."

The Mountaineers had a dominating offensive performance, tallying 643 yards of total offense.

West Virginia backup quarterback Paul Millard saw his first action in three weeks during the fourth quarter.

The Mountaineers played a cleaner game on Saturday. The team only registered one penalty, and had no turnovers.



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