When No. 13 West Virginia needed huge, gutsy plays, it got them. Twice. From quarterback Will Grier and an assist from coach Dana Holgorsen.
The senior quarterback made the throw of his career in a thrilling 42-41 win over No. 17 Texas — a 33-yard bomb (without having his feet set) to wide receiver Gary Jennings with just 16 seconds left. The throw capped off a must-have 75-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes.
But then, rather than trying to tie the game with an extra point, Holgorsen opted to capitalize on his team’s offensive momentum and go for two. It was a gutsy call, but clearly the right one given West Virginia’s inability to stop Texas’ rushing and play-action attack. This was always headed towards a finish in which the last team that had the ball could win.
Grier connected with his favorite red zone receiver, David Sills, on a slant for the two-point conversion; however, Texas coach Tom Herman wisely called a timeout right before the snap to ice the offense. It was perfectly timed and the right move to get an even better look at West Virginia’s formation.
Out of the timeout, the Mountaineers still decided to go for two. At that point, Holgorsen was committed and riding the confidence of his quarterback. The ‘Eers loaded up the right side of the field, but then allowed Grier to keep the ball on a designed run that no one expected. Grier can run when necessary, but it’s not what defenses would prepare for first.
It was a perfect throw by Grier and a perfect play call by Holgorsen on the two-point conversion. And now, West Virginia is in good position as one of the top two teams in the Big 12 with November underway. And Grier is very much back in the Heisman finalist conversation.
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