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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 COWBOYS SEND MOUNTAINEERS TO FIRST DEFEAT Game 7 • Oct. 29, 2016 • Oklahoma State 37, West Virginia 20 • Stillwater, OK Oklahoma State took advantage of three West Virginia turnovers to hand the No. 10/9 Mountaineers their first loss of the season, 37-20, at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Cowboys converted those three turnovers into 17 points, which provided the difference in the game. Despite winning just about every key statistical category, the Mountaineers could not overcome the turnovers, as the Cowboys won in front of 59,584 fans on homecoming. The victory was also Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy’s 100th career win at his alma mater. Howard finished with 212 yards passing and Kennedy McKoy and Justin Crawford combined for 163 yards rushing in the absence of an injured Rushel Shell III. Daikiel Shorts Jr. led the West Virginia receivers with 82 yards on a career high eight catches, while Justin Arndt, Noble Nwachukwu and Al-Rasheed Benton each turned in seven tackles. The victory gave Oklahoma State a 3-2 lead in Big 12 play against West Virginia, and the loss broke a sevengame overall winning streak for the Mountaineers and a three-game Big 12 Conference winning streak. McKOY, CRAWFORD PACE WVU PAST KANSAS Game 8 • Nov. 5, 2016 • West Virginia 48, Kansas 21 • Morgantown, WV West Virginia brought in the month of November with its seventh win of the season, dominating Kansas, 48-21, in front of 56,343 on a chilly night in Morgantown. Trying to bounce back from a loss at Oklahoma State the week before, the Mountaineers took care of business and built up a 31-0 halftime lead to let everyone know that there were no lingering effects from the week before. The Mountaineer defense held the Jayhawks to just 53 rushing yards in the first half and 135 yards total in tossing a first-half shutout. WVU quarterback Skyler Howard was responsible for five touchdowns (2 rushing, 3 passing) and totaled 324 all-purpose yards. Despite missing injured starter Rushel Shell III at tailback, Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy filled in admirably as both went over 100 yards to lead the rushing attack. The ground game complemented the passing attack as two WVU receivers went over the 100-yard receiving mark, giving the Mountaineers four players with more than 100 yards at their respective positions. MOUNTAINEER DEFENSE STIFLES LONGHORNS Game 9 • Nov. 12, 2016 • West Virginia 24, Texas 20 • Austin, TX No. 11/10 West Virginia earned victory number eight of the 2016 season with a 24-20 win at Texas in front of 98,673 fans at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 17-3 first half lead and survived several Texas comeback attempts to hang on for the win. Despite committing four turnovers, West Virginia got a strong effort from its defense, which kept the Longhorns scoreless on all four drives after the turnovers. It was the Mountaineers who scored the only points off miscues as three Longhorn turnovers resulted in seven points for the visitors. Final totals heavily favored Texas. West Virginia rushed for 114 yards and passed for 269 to total 383 yards of offense. Texas, behind D’Onta Foreman’s 167 rushing yards, finished with 218 yards on the ground and 318 passing for 536 yards of total offense. Several long drives in the game enabled the Longhorns to run 100 offensive plays compared to West Virginia’s 73, which resulted in a time of possession advantage for the Longhorns by a 33:42 to 26:18 count. The win was West Virginia’s second straight over Texas and gave the Mountaineers a 4-2 all-time lead in the series and a 3-2 mark vs. the Longhorns in all-time Big 12 play. 9 2 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L Shelton Gibson Kennedy McKoy Kyzir White


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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