Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Frantic 2-minute drill spurs WVU to comeback win at Baylor

WACO, Texas — When it came time to deliver a successful two-minute drill, West Virginia football coach Neal Brown had complete faith in junior quarterback Garrett Greene.

“Garrett is really good at the two minute drill — we scored two touchdowns tonight with less than a minute (in the first and second halves),” Brown said after the Mountaineers’ 34-31 comeback victory over Baylor on a rainy night at McLane Stadium.

Greene connected with freshman running back Jahiem White for a 29-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in the game. It was White’s fifth touchdown of the season and second receiving score.

“That’s a play we’ve been running since the first week of spring practice, and we haven’t run it in a game yet,” Brown said. “We run it in every two minute drill in practice. (The importance of two minute drills) is something I learned from Mark (Stoops) when I was at a Kentucky. In practice, there’s a lot of mistakes in these two minute drills. But there’s also learning points. It’s helped Garrett become the two minute guy he is now.”

Greene completed 16 of 25 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns and had 14 carries for 103 yards and two scores. He surpassed 2,000 passing yards during the second quarter and now has 2,178 on the season.

White rushed for a game-high 133 yards, his fourth 100-plus yard game of the season, which comes just a week after rushing for a career-high 204 yards last week against Cincinnati.

Greene enjoyed his second consecutive four touchdown game and third of the season for the Mountaineers (8-4), who have won eight games for the first time since 2018. They also extended their series lead to 8-4 over Baylor but won for the first time since 2017, and second time ever, in Waco.

The victory in Waco was a first for Brown, who came close to upsetting the eventual Big 12 runner-up Bears in 2019.

“This is the third time I’ve been here and by far the best feeling I’ve had,” Brown said.

The Mountaineers jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the host Bears (3-9), on a 30 yard touchdown pass from Greene to freshman wide receiver Traylon Ray, his second touchdown of the season.

Michael Hayes kicked the first of his two field goals for 38 yards. It was his fifth multiple field goal game of the season.

Greene rushed for a 23-yard touchdown, sandwiched between two kickoff returns, 96 and 93 yards, respectively, by Baylor sophomore Richard Reese, who became just the 12th player in NCAA history to accomplish two kickoff touchdowns in the same game.

“It was bittersweet for me because Baylor’s special teams analyst is Tyler Hancock, who was a student coach when I was at Kentucky,” Brown said. “I’ll be happy for him at some point but not tonight. The two kickoffs were huge. We got beat on 1-on-1 blocks, and that should never happen. That’s not who we’ve been on special teams, and that’s not who were going to be.”

Greene scored on a one-yard keeper with 15 seconds remaining in the first half to extend WVU’s lead to 27-14 at halftime, despite outscoring the Bears 27-0 offensively.

Bears quarterback Sawyer Robertson connected with Ketron Jackson Jr. for a touchdown, and Dominic Richardson’s two-yard rush put the Bears ahead 28-27 in the third quarter.

Isaiah Hawkins kicked a 39-yard field goal, giving Baylor a 31-27 lead with 12:58 remaining in the game. But he missed a crucial field goal with 1:14 left in the game that resulted in the Mountaineers’ game-winning drive.

Hudson Clement caught four passes for a team-high 80 yards, and he was a key contributor on the winning drive.

“We did not play very well tonight,” Brown said. “This is a good win. It gets us to eight wins (including) six wins in the conference, which is significant.”