A hard-fought game occurred Thursday night between West Virginia Mountaineers and Pittsburgh Panthers. Kicking off Week 1 the way it did between these two teams is what college football is all about. If you saw the game, then you know what I mean. The crowd was frenzied last night. There were 70,622 fans in attendance. A group of young athletes displaying heart, toughness, and the willingness never to quit.
At the start of the third quarter, I saw one of my favorite game plays. The game tied at 10-10; West Virginia’s special teams blocked the punt. The Mountaineers have a great field position. West Virginia went on to score, 17-10, after CJ Donaldson went in for a 5-yard rushing touchdown.
Now, let’s fast forward to the start of the fourth quarter.
The way the game was going, it looked like the Mountaineers were beginning to have momentum. After tying the game 24-24, CJ Donaldson struck again and continued torturing the Panthers’ defense with his running game. He had a phenomenal performance – rushing for 125 yards. Afterward, Mountaineers scored to grab the lead, 31-24. Then, their defense started to come alive. For most of the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers’ defense held the Panthers scoreless. The defense pressured and sacked the quarterback and had five sacks in the game.
But Pittsburgh was not going to go down without a fight. They responded and had the last laugh in this dance.
Four key plays happened that led the Panthers to win the game:
– A touchdown pass for 24 yards from Kedan Slovis to Israel Abanikanda
– Panthers cornerback MJ Devonshire’s interception and scored for the touchdown to give the Panthers the lead
– Pittsburgh’s defense pressured and sacked JT Daniels with less than a minute left to go
Pittsburgh Panthers defeated West Virginia, 38-31, after the Mountaineers came down short by one yard at the goal line. It was a great back-and-forth battle from one of the greatest rivalries in college football.