Football, WVU Sports

Gold-Blue spring game ends with ‘fun’ tiebreaker

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Neal Brown may have found an improvement on the new NCAA rule changes to overtime.

Rather than dueling 2-point conversion attempts, the tie in West Virginia’s annual Blue-Gold spring game was broken by offensive and defensive linemen going 1-on-1 in a passing drill.

And that’s how the Gold team came away with a 39-38 win when 248-pound defensive end Brayden Dudley broke up Garrett Greene’s pass attempt to 278-pound offensive lineman Noah Drummond.

“I told the team ‘If we’re in a tie, this is how we’re breaking it. It’s on Drummond,’” Brown said. “We always start practice with some kind of competition. It’s usually football oriented, but there are some times where you’ve got to lighten up the mood. The big-man deal is one of them.

“We just try to add a little fun to it. The guys loved it.”


In general, the spring game brought to mind the catch phrase from the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” — where everything is made up, and the points don’t matter.

The game-ending drill was one of many Brown inserted to liven up the proceedings throughout the duration. There was everything from a quarterback challenge that included basketball player Deuce McBride, a punt-downing contest and a kickoff competition.

“Spring games get stale real quick,” Brown said. “We’re trying to make the game as entertaining as possible.”

McBride’s cameo appearance qualified as such. The former quarterback at Archbishop Moeller High in Cincinnati emerged from the weight room in his own personalized gray No. 4 WVU football jersey.

“I was at an event last week with (WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins), and he said as long as there was no gear involved, he was good,” Brown said. “Deuce said ‘I just have to have a jersey with my name on it.’

“Every basketball game it seems like it’s always mentioned that he played quarterback at Moeller. I figured the fans would enjoy it, and they did. He was a great sport about it.”

McBride turned out to be no threat to supplant Jarrett Doege or Garrett Greene on the depth chart, though he did throw one nice fade to a net in the back corner of the end zone.

As far as for what you would call traditional football, the teams tied with 16 points apiece.

When it came to quarterback play, Doege was the steady hand, going 10-of-14 for 79 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run on a zone-read keeper.

“Jarret was really solid, especially on the zone-read down at the goal line,” Brown said. “He’s not a guy we’ll call a run play for, but he’s got to be able to pull the ball on the zone-read.”

Greene had a spectacular 51-yard throw to Kaden Prather, but finished 8-for-16 with an interception.

Shifty sophomore running back A’varius Sparrow showed promise for the Blue team, which was primarily composed of the No. 2 offense and No. 1 defense. He had 50 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown, on eight carries.

Most of the individual highlights came on defense, led by redshirt freshman Avery Wilcox’s 46-yard interception return for a touchdown as the No. 3 defense faced the No. 3 offense.

Cornerback Daryl Porter Jr. had an active afternoon, intercepting Greene on a deep pass in the end zone to go along with a tackle and a pass breakup.

Bandit VanDarius Cowan and defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor — both named the most improved players on defense this spring — showed why in the scrimmage. Each was credited with a sack and a tackle for loss.