Daniels, the leader of the West Virginia defense over Virginia Tech 33-10

Daniels, the leader of the West Virginia defense over Virginia Tech 33-10

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) JT Daniels threw for 203 yards and a touchdown to lead West Virginia to a 33-10 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

Freshman CJ Donaldson rushed for 106 yards and West Virginia (2-2) got a strong performance from its defense to win its second straight game after losing the first two.

”It was a great win,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. ”I felt great about our preparation coming in, and this is one of the toughest venues to come in and play. I felt very good. This is something we’ve been thinking about for a long time when we found out this was going to be a Thursday night game. I thought we were playing fast. We were very physical.”

The Mountaineers, who beat Virginia Tech for the second straight season, scored on five straight possessions in the first and second half. Daniels’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Sam James with 11 seconds left in the first half gave the Mountaineers a 13-7 lead, and they never trailed.

”It was big,” Brown said of the score. ”I felt we were in control of the game, but the scoreboard didn’t say that. I thought, really from that drive on, we were in control.”

The Hokies (2-2) closed to within 16-10 on a field goal by Will Ross with 4:19 left in the third quarter. West Virginia answered, scoring on a 6-yard run by Justin Johnson Jr. with 14:13 left in the game. The Hokies stopped West Virginia twice on the drive, but personal foul penalties on Norell Pollard and Dax Hollifield kept the drive alive.

Penalties hampered the Hokies all night. They committed 15 for 132 yards.

”I think we’re going to push ourselves and get out of everything,” said Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry, whose team committed 15 penalties at Old Dominion in its other loss this season. ”We feel we have to do things abroad. We need to stay in the frame and play with fundamentals and technique to be mindful of what we are doing.

”Sometimes, I look out there. and it’s like panic. We’re not playing together, we’re not playing as one, and we have to coach them through that. We have to fix that. That’s the second time in a very tough situation that we didn’t respond. We have to improve there.”


West Virginia: The Mountaineers got a nice win for Brown, who moved to 19-20 in his fourth year at West Virginia. They played strongly in all three phases, but especially on defense. A unit that gave up 73 points in losses to Pittsburgh and Kansas held the Hokies to just 228 yards and also scored on an interception return.

”That’s how we play defense here,” Brown said. ”We had an aberration a few weeks ago against Kansas – credit to them. But that’s not how we’re going to play defense around here. I thought tonight was closer.”

Virginia Tech: The Hokies weren’t good in any phase of the game and now haven’t beaten a Power 5 non-conference team at Lane Stadium since 2009. It was the Mountaineers’ worst loss ever at Lane Stadium.


Donaldson’s performance was his third 100-yard effort in four games. The 240-pound back came to West Virginia as a tight end, but the team moved him to tailback. Behind Donaldson and Johnson Jr., who rushed for 83 yards, West Virginia collected 218 yards on the ground and moved to 15-2 under Brown when he was rushing for at least 100 yards.

”I always do,” Daniels said when asked if he expected the Mountaineers to get rushing. ”I think we are very physical. We’ve been here since I’ve been here, just the way this team works, especially up front led by (Zach) Frazier. With plenty of great running backs, I expect to run like that every time.”


Thursday night’s game was the last scheduled game between Virginia Tech and West Virginia – two universities just four hours apart. The Mountaineers want to play on a more regular basis, but Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock has filled the Hokies’ non-conference schedule with struggling Power 5 programs like Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Arizona, and Maryland as well as long streaks with in-game foes. states. Old Lord and Liberty. Virginia Tech’s non-conference schedule is filled through the 2031 season.

UP Next

West Virginia: The Mountaineers play at Texas on October 1.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies play at North Carolina on October 1.

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