West Virginia 52, Youngstown State 17: How they scored

MORGANTOWN — Recapping the scoring drives as No. 14 West Virginia downed Youngstown State 52-17 on Saturday night.

FIRST QUARTER

WEST VIRGINIA: 9-yard run by Alec Sinkfield (3:50) WVU leads 7-0

The methodical Mountaineers ran it seven straight times using Martell Pettaway and Leddie Brown, and three of those carries chewed up double-digit yardage. Will Grier finally loosened up his arm on a 14-yard crossing route to Jennings before pulling some play-action on a 13-yard gain to Marcus Simms. That set up the scoring play on which Sinkfield darted around the right edge. (Drive: 99 yards in 10 plays in 3:51)

SECOND QUARTER

WEST VIRGINIA: 11-yard pass from Will Grier to Gary Jennings (12:52) WVU leads 14-0

Grier went 5-for-5 for 65 yards on the drive and his third-down passing made it pay off. He found Simms for 13 yards on third-and-9 to the Youngstown State 13, and then hit Jennings on third-and-8 from the 11. Jennings fought through two tacklers at the goal line for his second TD of 2018, doubling his 2017 total. (Drive: 68 yards in 10 plays 4:18)

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: 4-yard pass from Montgomery VanGorder to Miles Joiner (9:01) WVU leads 14-7

Montgomery’s 3-for-6 passing on the series didn’t tell the story because West Virginia defenders twice were hit for pass interference. One came against cornerback Derrek Pitts who stumbled and tackled Zach Farrar from behind. Then safety Kenny Robinson grabbed Ryan Emans on an incompletion in the back of the end zone, setting up YSU at the 2-yard line. WVU threatened a goal-line stand thanks to a Pitts breakup and VanGorder losing 2 yards after a fumbled snap, but the grad transfer QB made amends on a savvy third-down play. He sucked in the linebackers on a fake scramble and hit a wide-open tight end for the touchdown. (Drive: 10 yards in 75 plays in 3:51)

WEST VIRGINIA: 24-yard pass from Grier to Jennings (1:00) WVU leads 21-7

West Virginia executed with precision before the half to pad the lead. Facing third-and-6 at the Youngstown State 44, Grier took advantage of soft coverage to find Simms for 11. After Simms caught the next pass for 9 more, Grier found Jennings working an inside-out route against zone coverage. The Penguins had no one near as Jennings secured his second touchdown of the quarter. (Drive: 65 yards in 7 plays in 2:32)

THIRD QUARTER

WEST VIRGINIA: 33-yard pass from Grier to Jennings (12:19) WVU leads 28-7

This was the quick-strike offense we’re accustomed to. After three carries by Brown netted 28 yards, Jennings raced by a cornerback for a wide-open touchdown pass from Grier. That was the trifecta for Jennings, who entered the game with five career scores. (Drive: 51 yards in 4 plays in 1:11)

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: 13-yard run by Tevin McCaster (9:29) WVU leads 28-14

Cornerback Josh Norwood endured an up-and-down series. He forced a fumble by Zach Farrar that YSU recovered near midfield, but then he was beaten on a stop-and-go by Farrar for 40 yards to the Mountaineers’ 12. Two snaps later McCaster, a Payton Award nominee, gashed through for the score. Not much defense displayed on that series. (Drive: 75 yards in 6 plays in 2:50)

WEST VIRGINIA: 1-yard run by Leddie Brown (4:02) WVU leads 35-14

Brown’s 33-yard dash for a touchdown was wiped away by a holding flag — one that had Dana Holgorsen inventing multi-syllable words toward the officiating crew. But Brown got another chance at his first career TD later in the drive and capitalized behind a strong line surge. Don’t overlook the nice play the freshman made a play earlier, spinning away from blitzing linebacker Armond Dellovade for a 6-yard gain down to the 1. The series featured another beautiful throw-and-catch: Grier connecting with Simms for 25 yards on fourth-and-3 despite defensive pass interference on cornerback Bryce Gibson. (Drive: 82 yards in 14 plays in 1:11)

WEST VIRGINIA: 8-yard run by Kennedy McKoy (3:20) WVU leads 42-14

West Virginia cashed in quickly with a knockout blow from McKoy. His 26-yard run on first down featured several broken tackles on the second level, something he needed to improve upon after his first two seasons. His touchdown carry came on the next snap, at which point the Fightin’ Pelinis appeared to have lost their fight. (Drive: 34 yards in 2 plays in 0:30)

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: 45-yarder field goal by Zac Kennedy (0:01) WVU leads 42-17

Josh Norwood will hear the phrase “eye discipline” repeatedly this week after being beaten deep on another pump fake. This one went for 43 yards to Zach Farrar down to the West Virginia 11. Youngstown State’s touchdown hopes vanished on the next play when an H-back was flagged for a chop block into the legs of JoVanni Stewart. But Kennedy delivered three points nonetheless with a long-range kick. (Drive: 56 yards in 7 plays in 3:14)

FOURTH QUARTER

WEST VIRGINIA: 40-yard pass from Will Grier to Dominique Maiden (14:37) WVU leads 49-17

Maiden’s over-the-middle catch featured some impressive YAC as he raced through the Youngstown State secondary for his first career touchdown. On the previous play, Pettaway barreled ahead for 10 yards and nearly popped a big gainer. The WVU offense has needed a combined 53 seconds for its past two TDs, averaging 21 yards per play in the process. (Drive: 50 yards in 2 plays in 0:23)

WEST VIRGINIA: 31-yard field goal by Evan Staley (8:37) WVU leads 52-17

Backup quarterback Jack Allison’s first game action at West Virginia resulted in points, though Allison was only 1-of-3 on the drive for 4 yards. Leddie Brown’s 18-yard run and Kennedy McKoy’s 23-yarder kept the ground game humming until Staley came on. (Drive: 64 yards in 9 plays in 3:26)

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