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

Field Level Media

November 03, 2023 at 2:42 pm.

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.

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