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2016 Russell Athletic Bowl

S E A S O N I N R E V I E W WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L 8 9 MOUNTAINEERS TAKE SEASON OPENER OVER MIZZOU Game 1 • Sept. 3, 2016 • West Virginia 26, Missouri 11 • Morgantown, WV West Virginia opened the 2016 season with a solid 26-11 victory the SEC’s Missouri, in front of 60,125 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium. At the 5:41 mark of the first quarter, redshirt junior Mike Molina kicked the first field goal of his career, a 19-yarder that started the scoring for the season, giving WVU a 3-0 lead. Before the end of the quarter, senior tailback Rushel Shell III finished off a nine-play 88-yard drive with a 23-yard run, giving WVU its first touchdown of 2016 and a 10-0 advantage. In the second quarter, Molina added his second field goal, this time from 26 yards, to give West Virginia a 13-0 cushion. Missouri did strike before the half ended as Tucker McCann’s 24-yard field goal finished off a nine-play, 68-yard drive and provided the Tigers their first points of the season. Leading 13-3 at the half, West Virginia started the third quarter strong and essentially put the game away by outscoring the Tigers 10-0 in the quarter. HOWARD’S THREE SECOND-HALF TD PASSES LIFT WVU Game 2 • Sept. 10, 2016 • West Virginia 38, Youngstown State 21, Morgantown, WV West Virginia used five touchdown passes, including three of more than 50 yards to defeat Youngstown State, 38-21, at Milan Puskar Stadium. Quarterback Skyler Howard threw all five touchdown passes, which tied his career best, and his 389 yards passing were the second-best of his career. He finished the day with 20 completions and added 50 yards rushing. Youngstown State played the Mountaineers to a draw in the first half. However, the 91-degree temperatures for the day could have taken a toll on the Penguins as the Mountaineers depth dominated YSU to the tune of 24-7 in the second half. TYLER’S AND FLEMING’S FOURTH QUARTER PICKS SEAL WIN Game 3 • Sept. 24, 2016 • West Virginia 35, BYU 32 • Landover, MD West Virginia and Brigham Young squared off in a neutral site game at the home of the Washington Redskins, and the Mountaineers came out a 35-32 winner at FedExField in Landover, Maryland. The game did not disappoint in terms of excitement and big plays and came down to the final minute, as West Virginia turned in two big defensive plays in the fourth quarter to earn the victory. With WVU leading, 35-32, Jeremy Tyler’s interception with 4:15 left ended one Cougar threat. Iowa transfer Maurice Fleming’s interception at their two-yard line in the final minute ended the last BYU chance and sealed the victory for the Mountaineers. Final numbers showed West Virginia with 149 yards on the ground and 332 through the air to total 481 yards of total offense. Brigham Young finished with 280 yards rushing and 241 passing for 521 total yards. The Mountaineers won the turnover battle by a 4-2 count. The big play extended scoring drives of 99, 88, 86 and 59 yards, along with a 54-yard interception return. All those factors added up to improve West Virginia’s record to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 all-time vs. BYU. Daikiel Shorts Jr. Skyler Howard Rasul Douglas


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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