Although the scoreboard showed that West Virginia was leading by seven, one could hardly make the argument that the Mountaineers held momentum with less than nine minutes to play in the third quarter against visiting Rutgers.
After a beautiful 14-yard catch and run by Jock Sanders had extended West Virginia's lead to 17-3 late in the second quarter, the Mountaineers opted for a squib kick, setting the Scarlet Knights up beautifully at their own 44-yardline. Five plays later, the Knights were in the end zone courtesy of Mike Teel's five-yard scramble.
Whatever momentum the Mountaineers had was all but evaporated seemingly from the moment the squib kick was executed.
Worse yet, the Rutgers defense seemed to have made the necessary adjustments to stay in the game with West Virginia, especially with regard to the third-down package built around Jarrett Brown. On third and a yard from the WVU 47, Brown was thrown for a loss by RU linebacker Ryan D'Imperio. Out came the punt team, looking to pin the Knights deep in their own territory.
Before running the punt unit onto the field, though, head coach Bill Stewart – also the special teams coordinator – barked what looked to be a few extra instructions to the men in blue.
Stewart's extra words turned out to be enough for the home team to regain momentum. Long snapper Adam Hughes fired the ball to defensive end Zac Cooper – one of McAfee's personal protectors – while McAfee sold the fake brilliantly by acting as if the ball had been snapped high over his head.
Cooper rumbled for 18 yards, more than enough for the first down, as the crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium stood on its feet applauding the gutsy call by Stewart.
Though quarterback Patrick White would leave the game later in the drive, Jarrett Brown punctuated it with his one-yard touchdown run, giving West Virginia a comfortable 14-point lead and all but sewing up the first Big East win of 2008.