The Mountaineers opened up the college football season with their first victory on Saturday afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
West Virginia got on the board early thanks to an 11 yard touchdown run by Charles Sims, capping off an eight play, 67 yard drive. William and Mary gained offensive rhythm late in the first quarter when Michael Graham hooked up with receiver Trey McBride on a 40 yard pass play. Darnell Laws finished off the drive for the Tribe, knotting the game at 7-7 after one.
William and Mary took off in the second quarter, scoring 10 unanswered points before the half. The second quarter also saw a change at quarterback for the Mountaineers, as Florida State transfer Clint Trickett entered the game. West Virginia struggled offensively for most of the first half, but managed to gain 201 yards.
The second half was a different story for the Mountaineers. A key drive coming out of the half started the scoring for West Virginia. The 15 play, 70 yard drive led to a field goal, making the deficit seven, 17-10. On the follow possession, William and Mary was moving the ball until a 15 yard personal foul penalty on Zacc Fetters. The Mountaineer defense had another solid series of plays, and forced the Tribe to a punt.
The Mountaineers wasted no time cutting the lead. Millard connected with Carswell following the punt for 69 yards and a West Virginia touchdown. William and Mary was close to an answer, but kicker John Carpenter missed a 42 yard field goal. West Virginia took advantage at this point, and never looked back.
A late touchdown in the fourth quarter, a two yard run by Smallwood, ended the scoring for the day. The Mountaineers score 17 unanswered, and bounce back to win the game by a final score of 24-17.