POG: West Virginia - Pitt

A pair of seniors were the stalwarts for WVU in its 19-15 loss to Pitt.

The senior field goal kicker/place kicker/punter kept West Virginia in the game the entire contest whether it was perfectly placed punts or tough field goals in a difficult environment. The Mountaineers relied heavily on McAfee for their points on the afternoon. West Virginia twice entered the red zone and settle for field goals, with McAfee hitting one from his nemesis spot – the left hashmark at close range. McAfee's punts were crucial in flipping the field and keeping the Panthers in their own territory.

McAfee kicked three field goals. His first came in the second quarter from 20 yards out to put the Mountaineers on the board for the first time. The second, a 26-yarder, came in the third quarter and put the Mountaineers within a single score of the Panthers. His final piece of offensive production was a 40- yard field goal to give the Mountaineers their final score total of 15.

Perhaps just as importantly, McAfee averaged a whopping 47.6 yards per punt on five kicks, including a long of 53. He put two kicks inside the Pit twenty and had a net yards per punt average of 43.2.

Mortty Ivy
On defense, Mortty Ivy helped solidfy a banged up and shorthanded West Virginia defense. With Middle linebacker Anthony Leonnard out with a bad ankle, and Pat Liebig and Doug Slavonic apparently sidelined by coaches' decision, Ivy again was a focal point inside.

The defense held strong until the last eight minutes of the contest, when Pitt's running game finally wore down the Mountaineer front. However, Ivy was a stalwart throughout the contest. He pressured Piitt quarrterback Bill Stull with a variety of blitzes, and kept standout runner LeSean McCoy from breaking any huge runs when he penetrated the line of scrimmage – which was often.

Ivy finished with five unassisted tackles and a total of seven take downs. His pass break up in the third quarter prevented Stull from completing a pass to a wide open receiver crossing over the middle, and he also knocked away Pitt's second two-point conversion attempt. He also was credited with one quarterback hit, which resulted in another incompletion.


  • After getting burned by Derek Kinder and giving a touchdown, WVU cornerback Brandon Hogan wound up as the top tackler on either team, recording nine stops. He also had two big plays of his own, recording a sack on a corner blitz and picking off a Bill Stull pass to negate the first of two Patrick White interceptions.

  • Sometimes game balls aren't positive, unless viewed from the perspective of the other team. Each squad in this game made a horrible play call close to the goal line that cost its team points.

    For Pitt's part, it came on their final drive of the first half. The Panthers, having racked up 105 yards on the ground, inclduing 30 on the drive, inexplicably decided to throw a pass on second and goal from the West Virginia two-yard line. Stull's pass to Jonathan Baldwin was woefully shot, and picked off by Quentin Andrews in the back of the end zone. When a pair of Pitt runs would have likely resulted in a 14-3 halftime lead, the cute Wannstedt call left West Virginia with life.

  • West Virginia had its own blunder one series earlier that likely cost it points as well. Trailing 7-0, and with second and goal on the one, Patrick White rolled to his left and lost two yards. On the ensuing third and three, Jarrett Brown made his only appearance of the game, and handed off White, who rolled left and tried to hit Wes Lyons in the back of the end zone. The semi-trick play had little chance to succeed, because at that spot on the field there simply wasn't enough room for Lyons to get free, even if both the cornerback and safety were fooled, as required. Once again, West Virginia's inability to gain a yard or two in the crunch cost it points -- an occurrence that might as well be the slogan for the season.

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