West Virginia's Offense Topped the Defense 49-46 Behind An Explosive First Team

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. - West Virginia's gold offense rallied for a late win over the blue-clad defense, winning 49-46 on Saturday at the Greenbrier Resort. Here, head coach Dana Holgorsen, introduced by Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, details the performance on both sides.

The first-team offense dominated early, with Skyler Howard throwing three first-half touchdowns in staking the starters to an early lead. But the second team defense rallied behind four interceptions, two by Shane Commodore, and actually held the lead entering the final possession. In the end, reserve quarterback/receiver David Sills found Ricky Rogers in the end zone for the final score and the win.

That ended the roughly 100-play scrimmage, which was West Virginia's third of the week following similar sessions Tuesday and Thursday. Howard completed 18 of 26 passes for 270 yards, the three scores and a single pick which was returned for a touchdown by starting corner Antonio Crawford. It was easily the best performance by any player during the session, and showed Howard had a firm grasp on the starting role, even as second-teamer Chris Chugunov sat out with a shoulder. 

Also missing were Ka'Raun White (shoulder), Jarrod Harper (shoulder) and Xavier Pegues (shoulder) as the Mountaineers faced a shoulder-pocolypse of sorts, though Harper had been held out since offseason surgery. Shelton Gibson starred for the wideouts, catching a touchdown pass and two-point conversion, and Rushel Shell carried nine times for 50 yards, most of it in the first few series. Gary Jennings caught four passes for 92 yards, including a 69-yard score from Howard, and Daikiel Shorts had five receptions for 86 yards. William Crest threw the two picks to Commodore, and finished 2-of-5 for 17 yards, one touchdown and the interceptions.


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