Grier Impresses, Defense Looks Solid In Annual Gold-Blue Game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia's defense won Saturday afternoon's spring game, but there was plenty to be impressed with on both sides of the ball.

West Virginia's blue team (defense) won Saturday's annual Gold-Blue game by 23 points, but there was still a lot to like on the offensive end of the football.

On the Mountaineers' first drive, senior running back Justin Crawford scored with game's first points with a 51 yard touchdown run. Like he did many times a season ago, Crawford showed great field vision and big time moves when he put bandit safety Toyous Avery on skates on the long touchdown run.

"I stuck to my bread and butter," said Crawford. "I got him to press in his heels and open his hips and I cut back off of him."

It looked as if the West Virginia's first team offense was in business again on its second drive as it moved the ball deep inside the Blue team's territory, but a fumbled exchange between Will Grier and Martell Pettaway gave the defense its first points of the day. With the fumble recovery, the defense not only got possession of the ball, but it looked like it got some momentum as well.

"That definitely gave us confidence for the rest of the day," said spur safety Marvin Gross. "We just calmed down and made the plays that we had been making all spring."

That play was one of the only mistakes starting quarterback Will Greir would make on the day, however. The junior gunslinger started his day by completing 9 of his first 10 passes and regularly connected with fellow junior David Sills who hauled in six catches for 96 yards on the afternoon. While Sills's productivity surprised most, new Mountaineer offensive coordinator Jake Spavital wasn't shocked in the least bit. 

"We started Sills at the outside receiver position," said Spavital. "He hadn't played out there the entire spring and I thought he did a really good job. I (expected it). His last four or five practices were pretty impressive and that was something I was pleased to see. That was the first time we actually got tot let him go out there and do his thing. He's a big target and I think it's safe to say that he can be pretty good right now."

West Virginia's offense found itself down 28-7 late in the first half when sophomore back Martell Pettaway got in on the action and hammered home a three yard touchdown. The second half was somewhat watered down until head coach Dana Holgorsen made the late decision to put in former Mountaineers Geno Smith, Daikiel Shorts and Kevin White. Smith connected with Gibson on an 85 yard bomb. That signaled the end of the scoring and the end of the day as the Blue team took home a 44-21 win over the Gold team.

Final Offensive Stats:

Final Defensive Stats:

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