What. A. Game. If you’re like me, then you’re likely still feeling the residual effects of multiple heart attacks over the course of West Virginia’s epic downing of the Texas Longhorns in Austin. Obviously, it was a great day for Mountaineer fans everywhere and showed that Dana Holgorsen’s team has that all important “it” factor.
Here are the helmet stickers from one of the most memorable offensive showings in recent memory.
Will Grier, QB: Grier was, in a word, phenomenal. There’s just no other way to put it after throwing for three scores on 28-of-42 passing for 346 yards. Grier took the collective breath out of the college football universe in the first half when he went down with an apparent knee injury and was helped to the sideline. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Grier returned to the game with vengeance on his mind as the Charlotte native proceeded to torch the burnt orange secondary. If anyone was worried that Grier would leave Austin without at least one Heisman-worthy moment, those fears were cast aside when Grier aired an unbelievable throw downfield to Gary Jennings, Jr. for the go-ahead score in the waning moments of the game. As if that weren’t enough, Grier then bounded heroically into the end zone for the game-winning two-point conversion. In a must-have game in front of 100,000 fans at Darell K. Royal stadium, Grier reaffirmed why his name needs to mentioned in the same breath as Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray. With key games against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma still ahead, Grier has an opportunity to earn legend status at West Virginia and finish his career as one of the best players in all of college football.
Martell Pettaway, RB: I’ve long been on the Pettaway bandwagon and Saturday further validated why I’m such a fan. No. 32 simply could not be stopped on Saturday en route to posting 121 yards on nine carries. For those keeping score, that’s an absurd 13.4 YPC, punctuated by a beautiful 55 yard run to the house in the second quarter. In a piece I did last week leading up to the Texas game, I mentioned that the running game needed to have a banner day. I’m not ready to call myself Nostradamus or anything, but the 232-yard explosion on the ground proved to be the difference-maker against a Texas defense that was dealing with several key injuries. If this ground game can conjure up the same level of magic for the remainder of the season and Will Grier continues his elite streak, there isn’t anyone in the nation that is capable of stopping this Mountaineer offense. If I’m Jake Spavital, I’m sticking with Pettaway as my RB1. Detroit muscle, all day long.
Kelby Wickline, OT: I can just as easily give the third MVP spot to Gary Jennings, David Sills or Kennedy McKoy — all of them are deserving choices. In this spot, though, Kelby Wickline deserves a world of credit for his performance on Saturday. Starting LT Yodny Cajuste was inexplicably ejected from the game in the first quarter, which could have proved an absolute dagger to West Virginia’s upset chances. Instead, the line held steady, thanks to stellar play from the junior son of offensive line coach Joe Wickline. There’s no question that Cajuste, a future pro, has some pretty big shoes to fill; asking a reserve lineman who hasn’t played too many game minutes to fill in on the spot is a tall order. In spite of the sudden challenge, Wickline thrived in the season’s biggest moments, and West Virginia’s offensive line did not giving up a single sack on Saturday. For a unit that has been inconsistent throughout 2018, Saturday was a gut check that the Mountaineers’ hogs passed with flying colors. Will Grier and the rest of the offense owe Wickline, Sills and Co. a steak dinner.