DieHards is counting down each Big 12 team’s best moment from the 2017 college football season, whether fun, momentous or disastrous. West Virginia is next on the list.
West Virginia got off to a 3-2 start in the 2017 season, but fell a touchdown short against No. 21 Virginia Tech and No. 8 TCU.
The Mountaineers did have one more chance against a ranked opponent on Oct. 14 against No. 24 Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders got off to a 4-1 start, with their only loss coming against Oklahoma State. Texas Tech had wins over Eastern Washington, Arizona State and Houston to open the year. Quarterback Nic Shimonek was rolling.
That momentum helped spark Texas Tech to a 28-17 lead at the half in Morgantown, and extended the lead to 18 points in the second half. However, that set the stage for West Virginia quarterback Will Grier to produce one of his best performances.
West Virginia took over with 9 minutes, 11 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Mountaineers’ offense had been disappointing against an improved Red Raiders defense. ESPN’s analytics gave Texas Tech a 95 percent chance to win the game at that point.
Grier led a touchdown drive to cut the deficit to 2 touchdowns, capping the 8-play possession with an 8-yard scoring toss to David Sills V to cut Texas Tech’s lead to 35-24 with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
One drive later, Grier threw an interception. But after the West Virginia defense caused a 3-and-out, Grier led a 66-yard drive that culminated in a 32-yard touchdown pass to Ka’Raun White. Grier’s two-point conversion pass to Sills snapped the lead to 35-32 with 13:03 left.
The defense held for another 3-and-out, and Grier capitalized with another 17-yard touchdown pass to White 6 plays later with 9:14 left to provide them the lead for good.
After yet another 3-and-out, Grier led a 45-yard touchdown drive that culminated in an 11-yard Sills touchdown that iced the victory.
Grier completed 32-of-41 passes for 352 yards and 5 touchdowns with 1 interception. Four different receivers caught at least 6 passes.
Heading into next season, Grier should rank as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. His effort against Texas Tech hints at what could produce if he can remain healthy and the West Virginia offense is humming.
Make sure to keep tuned to DieHards for the best moment for each remaining Big 12 team in the coming days.