Dec 27, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown holds up the championship trophy after the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia coach Neal Brown gets 1-year contract extension

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension on Tuesday that keeps him in Morgantown through the 2027 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the university for Brown, who capped a nine-win season with a 30-10 victory over North Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. That’s quite the season given that the Mountaineers were picked to finish last in the Big 12 preseason media poll.

“My first priority was retaining and rewarding our assistant coaches and support staff who have played such a critical role in our success,” Brown said. “I appreciate (West Virginia vice president and director of athletics Wren Baker’s) support on that front as well as his continued commitment to me and what we are building. We share a common vision for this program and that alignment is critical to our continued success. There are great things ahead.”

Brown, 43, has guided West Virginia to bowl appearances in three of the past four years. He has posted a 31-29 record during his five seasons with the Mountaineers after going 35-16 in four campaigns with Troy (2015-18).

“I am pleased with the progress I’ve seen in our football program since arriving last year,” Baker said. “I believe this contract amendment allows us to continue to build on our momentum as we begin our first year in the new and expanded Big 12 Conference. I’m appreciative of the effort Coach Brown and his staff put into developing the young people in our program both on and off the field.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears tight end Jake Roberts (86) runs after the catch past  West Virginia Mountaineers safety Aubrey Burks (2) during the first half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia closes strong to edge Baylor

Garrett Greene hit Jahiem White with the winning touchdown pass with 23 seconds remaining as visiting West Virginia charged back for a 34-31 win over hapless Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas, in the Big 12 Conference finale for both teams.

Greene finished with 269 yards passing and two scores and ran for 103 yards and two more, the Mountaineers (8-4, 6-3 Big 12) needed a last-gasp drive to win. West Virginia had just two first downs in the second half until the final drive, which covered 80 yards in just six plays with no timeouts.

Baylor trailed 27-14 at halftime with their only scores coming on a pair of kickoff return touchdowns by Richard Reese. The Bears (3-9, 2-7) scored the first 17 points of the second half to take the lead but could not hold on.

White ran for 133 yards on 17 carries.

Sawyer Robertson passed for 215 yards and a score for Baylor, which lost its final five games.

The Mountaineers got on the board first on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Greene to Traylon Ray with 5:55 to play in the first quarter. West Virginia added a 38-yard field goal by Michael Hayes to push its lead to 10-0 at the 14:10 mark of the second quarter.

Reese ripped off a 96-yard kickoff return 15 seconds later that cut the Bears’ deficit to 10-7.

Greene rambled 23 yards on a keeper for a touchdown that rebuilt the Mountaineers’ lead to 17-7 with 10:28 to play before halftime. But Reese answered again, this time going untouched for 93 yards the score.

Hayes added his second field goal of the game, this one for 36 yards, with 5:44 to play in the second quarter, to expand West Virginia’s lead to 20-7. Greene added a 1-yard scoring run with 15 seconds remaining to put the Mountaineers up 27-14 at the break.

The Bears’ offense came to life in the third quarter, scoring on a 38-yard pass from Robertson to Ketron Jackson Jr. on their opening drive and a 2-yard touchdown run from Dominic Richardson with 5:45 to play in the quarter, the latter giving them a 28-27 lead.

Isaiah Hankins added to the Baylor lead with a 39-yard field goal with 12:58 to play.

–Field Level Media

West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene (6) carries the ball on a touchdown run in the third quarter during an NCAA college football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the West Virginia Mountaineers, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W. Va. The West Virginia Mountaineers won, 42-21.

West Virginia looking to build bowl momentum at Baylor

West Virginia will look to improve its bowl status when it visits Baylor for a Big 12 Conference regular-season finale on Saturday in Waco, Texas.

The Mountaineers (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) are already guaranteed a spot in the postseason and look to accentuate what’s been a mostly positive season.

West Virginia was picked to finish last in the Big 12 in the preseason poll but has won three of its past four games to guarantee a winning record for the first time since 2020.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 42-21 win at home last Saturday over Cincinnati in which they rushed for 424 yards. They got 204 yards and a touchdown from Jaheim White and 154 yards and three TDs on the ground from quarterback Garrett Greene. Greene also passed for 210 yards and a score in the victory.

“The game was won in the trenches,” Greene said. “I thought our O-line played phenomenal; it’s the best in America.”

Baylor (3-8, 2-6) returns home after a 42-17 loss at TCU last Saturday. Blake Shapen passed for 197 yards and a touchdown and ran for a 2-yard score in the setback, the fourth straight for the Bears. The Bears were just 5-for-14 on third-down conversions, compared to a 9-for-11 success rate by the Horned Frogs.

The Bears will likely be without Shapen for their season finale after the quarterback suffered chest and head injuries late in the loss to TCU. Sophomore Sawyer Robertson is expected to make his fourth start of the season.

Baylor coach Dave Aranda said a win to cap the season would be an important step forward.

“For the team, it would be a relief,” he said. “It would be validation for working hard. When anything negative happens, you fight the attachment to all the negative things of the past. We’re fighting that fight right now, and to get a win would be a victory over that.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Nic Anderson (4) runs with the ball as West Virginia Mountaineers linebacker Ben Cutter (15) defends during the first quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon Gabriel accounts for 8 TDs as No. 17 Oklahoma crushes West Virginia

Dillon Gabriel threw for a season-high 423 yards and five touchdowns and ran for three more as No. 17 Oklahoma beat West Virginia 59-20 on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

Gabriel’s eight combined passing/rushing touchdowns set a school record, besting the previous record of seven set by Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak and kept the Sooners (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) in the hunt for a berth in the Big 12 Championship game with two games remaining, though Oklahoma still doesn’t control its destiny.

Gabriel moved into 10th place in NCAA career passing yards, passing Marshall’s Rakeem Cato for 11th with his first completion of the second half — a 60-yard touchdown to Drake Stoops and then Hawaii’s Colt Brennan with a 12-yard completion to Stoops late in the third quarter.

Stoops finished with 10 catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns. Stoops has set career highs in receiving yards in back-to-back games.

Nic Anderson had four catches for 119 yards and Gavin Sawchuk ran for 135 yards as Oklahoma outgained the Mountaineers 644-330. The Sooners’ offensive production was its highest of the season.

West Virginia (6-4, 4-3) had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Garrett Greene was 10-of-27 for 154 yards and two touchdowns for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers got off to a quick start, scoring in just more than a minute to get the game started.

But from there, the Sooners took over.

Oklahoma scored the game’s next 31 points to build a comfortable lead by the second quarter.

Gabriel scored the first two touchdowns himself, with a pair of short runs.

While the Sooners’ offense heated up, the defense bounced back strong from the initial troubles.

After its first drive, West Virginia didn’t record another first down until late in the second quarter, and by the time the Mountaineers did get a first down, the Sooners were up 31-7.

West Virginia stayed in the game until late in the third quarter, when Stoops caught his second of three touchdowns to put the Sooners up 45-20.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2023; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Jahiem White (22) runs the ball and avoids a tackle from Brigham Young Cougars defensive end Blake Mangelson (93) during the second quarter at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia runs all over BYU 37-7

Jahiem White and CJ Donaldson Jr. each rushed for more than 100 yards to help West Virginia run over visiting BYU 37-7 Saturday night in Morgantown, W.Va.

White carried the ball 16 times for 146 yards and Donaldson racked up 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2 Big 12), who became bowl eligible with their sixth win.

The Mountaineers rushed for 336 yards and piled up 567 yards of total offense. Quarterback Garrett Greene threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-24 passing.

BYU junior quarterback Jake Retzlaff, starting for the injured Kedon Slovis, passed for 210 yards and completed 24 of 42 attempts in his first FBS action.

The Cougars (5-4, 2-4) lost their second straight conference road game after compiling only 277 yards of offense, including just 67 rushing.

West Virginia scored on its opening drive to seize control early. Moments after Donaldson prolonged the possession with a fourth-down conversion run, the sophomore’s 2-yard touchdown run put the Mountaineers up 7-0.

West Virginia then forced BYU to turn it over on downs near midfield and grabbed a 14-0 lead thanks to another Donaldson scoring plunge, this one from 1 yard out. That score was set up by a 30-yard pass from Greene to Traylon Ray.

Michael Hayes made it 17-0 with a 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter after the Mountaineers again forced BYU to turn it over on downs.

Greene hooked up with Preston Fox for a 12-yard touchdown reception and Hayes chipped in a 22-yard field goal for a 27-0 halftime lead as time expired in the second quarter.

BYU’s best scoring opportunity of the first half was thwarted when Aubrey Burks stripped the ball out of Parker Kingston’s hands on the West Virginia 18-yard line after a big pickup.

Hayes hit his third field goal, a 23-yarder, and Kole Taylor hauled in a 43-yard touchdown reception for a 37-0 lead.

BYU missed a 50-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.

Aidan Robbins finally put the Cougars on the scoreboard with a 10-yard run with 6:24 left in the game. It was BYU’s first touchdown in 10 quarters, going back to its win over Texas Tech two weeks ago.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene (6) scores a touchdown against the UCF Knights during the second half at FBC Mortgage Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

After ugly loss, BYU makes first-ever trip to WVU

Though BYU and West Virginia have the same overall records, they come into their Saturday Big 12 matchup at Morgantown, W.Va., following entirely different experiences last weekend.

In their first-ever visit to the state of West Virginia, the Cougars (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) hope to bounce back after a 35-6 road loss to then-No. 7 Texas.

The Mountaineers (5-3, 3-2) will look to keep momentum gained last week in a 41-28 win at UCF after back-to-back losses.

This will be the first Big 12 meeting between BYU and West Virginia and only the second time the programs have ever faced each other. The Mountaineers held on for a 35-32 victory over the Cougars in 2016 at Landover, Md.

West Virginia’s defense accounted for four takeaways while Mountaineers quarterback Garrett Greene rushed for three touchdowns in the victory over the Knights at Orlando. Greene completed 14 of 23 passes for 156 yards and ran for 55 yards. CJ Donaldson Jr. rushed for a season-best 121 yards for the Mountaineers, and Beanie Bishop Jr. had two interceptions.

“We just went through two really hard games. … I just felt it in our team meeting (early last week) and our guys came out and really competed (Saturday),” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “It’s hot, we’re not very deep, especially in some defensive areas, and we were able to overcome some injuries. That just speaks really well of our staff, support areas and our kids.”

BYU’s road trip wasn’t as productive.

Texas pummeled the Cougars, limiting them to a pair of field goals a week after BYU picked up a nice 27-14 win over Texas Tech. The Longhorns held BYU to 292 yards of total offense, took advantage of three turnovers and had a punt-return touchdown.

“It was not the outcome that we wanted,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “The things that stand out to me were the missed opportunities that we had in all three phases and the inability that we had to weather some things and just take advantage of the opportunities we had.”

Both teams are one victory away from becoming bowl-eligible.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Ollie Gordon II (0) runs for a touchdown during the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ollie Gordon (4 TDs), Oklahoma State sink West Virginia

Ollie Gordon ran for 282 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries to lead Oklahoma State to a 48-34 win at West Virginia on Saturday in a Big 12 contest.

Alan Bowman went 24-of-36 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns as well for Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1), which has won three straight.

Garrett Green completed 15 of 29 passes for 249 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for West Virginia (4-3, 2-2), which has lost two straight. Greene also rushed for a team-high 111 yards on 16 carries.

With the game tied 27-27 in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma State took a 34-27 lead with 7:00 remaining on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to Brennan Presley.

After stopping West Virginia on downs, Oklahoma State took a 41-27 lead with 4:15 remaining on a 46-yard touchdown run by Gordon.

West Virginia then drove down the field quickly, going 75 yards in just 1:38 and cutting its deficit to 41-34 with 2:37 remaining on C.J. Donaldson’s 3-yard touchdown run.

But the Cowboys regained a two-touchdown lead on a 53-yard scoring run by Gordon with 1:40 remaining that made it 48-34.

West Virginia drove down to the Oklahoma State 12-yard line with 47 seconds remaining, but the drive stalled on downs.

The Mountaineers held a 24-20 lead in the fourth until the Cowboys went ahead 27-24 with 13:16 remaining on a 16-yard touchdown run by Gordon.

West Virginia drove down the field on its next possession and tied it 27-27 on a 39-yard field goal by Michael Hayes with 9:39 left.

Trailing 17-13 at halftime, the Cowboys took a 20-17 lead with 4:52 left in the third on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to Jaden Bray.

The Mountaineers answered, driving 75 yards in seven plays and taking a 24-20 lead on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Green to E.J. Horton with 1:30 remaining in the third.

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Matthew Golden (2) runs the ball back for a touchdown on a kick off during the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers  at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Hail Mary TD pass on final play lifts Houston over West Virginia

Donovan Smith hit Stephon Johnson Jr. with a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass on the game’s final play to lift Houston to a 41-39 win over visiting West Virginia on Thursday in a wild Big 12 Conference game.

The scoring play came after the Mountaineers’ Garrett Greene found Hudson Clement on a 50-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 12 seconds to play.

Smith had just seven seconds to work with after a kickoff return to the UH 43. After an 8-yard completion, Smith threw to the end zone as time expired, where Houston’s Joseph Manjack IV leaped and tipped the ball to Johnson, who fell across the goal line for the winning points.

The Cougars (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) won their first game as a member of the Big 12 Conference after two league losses to begin their inaugural season in the conference. Smith finished with 253 yards and four touchdowns passing.

Greene ended up passing for 391 yards and two touchdowns and added 47 yards and two scores on the ground as West Virginia (4-2, 2-1) had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The Mountaineers struck first on a 27-yard field goal by Michael Haynes at the 4:16 mark of the first quarter. Houston needed just 13 seconds to respond, the time elapsed in a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Matthew Golden.

West Virginia went back to the front with a 5-yard scoring run by CJ Donaldson with 13 seconds to play in the opening quarter. Houston’s offense finally broke through on Smith’s 2-yard TD run that gave the Cougars a 14-10 lead with 28 seconds to go until halftime.

Greene hit Traylon Ray with a 35-yard scoring pass on the Mountaineers’ opening possession of the third quarter to push West Virginia to a 17-14 advantage. Houston answered with a 15-yard TD pass from Smith to Manjack with 5:15 to play in the third.

West Virginia made it 24-21 with a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Greene with 14:16 remaining in the game.

A Smith 5-yard scoring throw to Samuel Brown with 12:02 left pushed the Cougars into the lead, 28-24, and a 21-yard Smith-to-Johnson TD pass with 7:28 to play added to the advantage.

But West Virginia responded, cutting the lead to three points, 35-32, on an 8-yard touchdown run by Greene and a two-point conversion pass from Greene to Ray with 3:42 to play, setting the stage for the furious finish.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Chandler Morris (4) rolls out to pass against West Virginia Mountaineers defensive lineman Tomiwa Durojaiye (3) in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia blocks late field goal tries in edging TCU

Garrett Greene produced 222 total yards and two touchdowns and West Virginia blocked two field goal attempts in the final five minutes in outlasting TCU 24-21 on Saturday in a Big 12 Conference battle in Fort Worth, Texas.

Michael Hayes’ 49-yard field goal with 9:31 to play in the game proved to be the game winner for the Mountaineers (4-1, 2-0 Big 12).

West Virginia’s Mike Lockhart blocked Griffin Kell’s 46-yard FG attempt with 4:47 to play, and Sean Martin got a hand on a 55-yard try by Kell with 32 seconds remaining to ensure the victory.

Kell also missed a 53-yard try in the first quarter.

Greene went 10 of 21 passing for 142 yards and added 80 yards on the ground. Teammate CJ Donaldson ran for 61 yards on 22 carries.

Chandler Morris led the Horned Frogs (3-2, 1-1) with 298 yards and two touchdowns passing and also had 51 yards and a score on the ground.

TCU got on the board on its opening possession when JP Richardson caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Morris for a 7-0 lead. The Mountaineers responded on their ensuring series, driving 75 yards in six plays to Greene’s 35-yard scoring run that tied the game at 7-7 with 8:53 left in the first quarter.

The Horned Frogs regained the advantage on the first snap of the second quarter as Morris got loose for a 31-yard touchdown run.

West Virginia knotted the game on Donaldson’s 1-yard run with 1:50 to play until halftime. But that was more than enough time for the Horned Frogs, who used nine plays to move 75 yards and cashed in with a 36-yard scoring pass from Morris to Dylan Wright with 24 seconds left.

TCU outgained the Mountaineers 312-188 in the first half, with the advantage built on its 212-60 edge in passing and 46 snaps to West Virginia’s 33.

The third quarter belonged to the Mountaineers, in a big way. Greene pulled West Virginia even at 21-21 with 1-yard touochdown run with 4:29 to play in the period. The Mountaineers allowed TCU just 1 yard of offense in 11 snaps in the quarter.

–Field Level Media