WVU Routs Delaware State Despite Sloppy Start - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Routs Delaware State Despite Sloppy Start

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By Chris Jackson

West Virginia’s slow start did little to concern head coach Dana Holgorsen Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (2-1) dropped passes and committed early turnovers against a Delaware State (0-3) team that hasn’t won a game dating back to the 2015 season finale. Yet while those early miscues hurt the team early, they rebounded to size a commanding 59-16 victory over the Hornets at Milan Puskar Stadium.

With the victory, WVU is now 18-0 against FCS opponents during program history.

“ I know there was some sloppy stuff here and there, but I’m not going to split hairs when it comes to that type of stuff,” Holgorsen said. “We got to play a lot of people and that’s what counts.”

After a 53-second scoring drive to start the game, WVU’s defense allowed an 85-yard touchdown as true freshman Jack McDaniels connected with a wide-open Tyfease West down the left sideline to even the score at 7-7.

But the Mountaineers defense never let the Hornets offense so much following the long score, surrendering just 10 more points.

“We blow a coverage right out of the gate,” said WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. “That first third down they get an 85-yard touchdown. I didn’t yell at them. We had to fix it.”

Delaware State finished with a total of 301 yards as WVU’s defense held its ground. The biggest stop came after a Will Grier fumble, which gave it a prime opportunity to score at the 6-yard line.

WVU held Delaware State to -1 yards on the drive, as it settled for a 24-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-10.

“We needed to get a stop and we did,” Gibson said. “I was happy with that.”

Junior quarterback Will Grier --- despite his second interception of the season and a turnover on a snap --- impressed the coaching staff for a third straight week. His “competitive nature” that offensive coordinator Jake Spavital mentioned following the game played a role in his ability to bounce back.

Grier finished 19-of-27 passing for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns, marking his third 300-yard outing this year. He also added 22 rushing yards to showcase his ability to extend plays.

Two of Grier’s scores went to sophomore Marcus Simms, whose 91 yards marked the highest total of his career.

“He was pretty hot there for a little bit and you guys probably saw it,” Spavital said of Grier. “I thought his body language was a little down, which is something that changed. He throws the touchdown to Marcus Simms and he just walks off the field.”

Senior running back Justin Crawford tallied 102 rushing yards and a career-best three touchdown runs. Tevin Bush finished with 41 yards and Martell Pettaway had 39 yards.

Sophomore Kennedy McKoy did not play due to a suspension for a violation of team rules, according to Holgorsen.

“He’ll be back with us tomorrow,” Holgorsen said.

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