Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's a Great Night to be a Mountaineer Wherever You May Be

Trailing 24-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the WVU Mountaineers came back to win a 46-44 triple overtime thriller over the Louisville Cardinals that will be recorded as one of the greatest victories ever at Mountaineer Field. The Cardinals led 17-0 at halftime. A pair of touchdowns were exchanged in the third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, the team that kept running out of gas in the fourth quarter suddenly caught on fire!

MetroNews reports:

For all intent and purposes, the game was over.

The student section was nearly empty, but there was still a quarter to play. West Virginia trailed 24-7 to a Louisville team that had manhandled the Mountaineers all afternoon. But as the day turned to night a different West Virginia team took the field in the fourth quarter and stormed back to tie the game and win in three overtimes 46-44.

For three quarters Louisville ran rough shod over West Virginia, racking up 363 total yards. Brain Brohm picked apart the Mountaineer secondary and Michael Bush ran through gaping holes. The Cardinals had the ball for 27 minutes through the end of the third quarter to West Virginia’s 18 minutes. But, in the fourth quarter WVU held the ball for 11 minutes and scored 17 points to erase the 24-7 deficit and force overtime.

Steve Slaton had the game of a lifetime, rushing for 188 yards on 31 carries and scored six touchdowns—five rushing, one receiving.

Things did not look good for the Mountaineers from the very beginning. After holding Louisville to a three and out on their first drive the Cardinals faked a punt and proceeded to drive 80 yards for the first score of the game. Poor tackling and ill-timed penalties plagued the Mountaineers the rest of the half on the way to a 17-0 Halftime lead for Louisville. Michael Bush ran for 159 yards on the game and scored four touchdowns. He appeared unstoppable all game and the highly acclaimed Brian Brohm was unflappable completing 31-of-49 passes for 277 yards and two scores.

But none of that mattered because the Mountaineers held the ball for nearly the entire fourth quarter scoring 17 points and holding Louisville to one three and out possession. Overtime was a back and forth battle. Each team scored touchdowns on all three of their possessions. But in the third overtime teams are forced to go for three. Pat White connected with Dorell Jollah for the two-point conversion to give WVU the 46-38 lead. Bush scored on a three-yard run, but on the Cardinal’s two-point conversion Brohm was flushed from the pocket and sacked and the Mountaineers sealed the comeback.