EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixes style on team records
West Virginia’s Will Grier hit Gary Jennings on a 33-yard TD pass with 16 seconds to play and then scooted around left end on an all-or-nothing two-point conversion run to lift the No. 13 Mountaineers to a wild 42-41 win over No. 17 Texas on Saturday afternoon in a key Big 12 Conference matchup at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.
With the score tied at 34, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger stepped up to avoid the rush from West Virginia’s David Long Jr. and hit Devin Duvernay, who got behind West Virginia cornerback Josh Norwood, in stride for a 48-yard score with 2:34 to play.
But that left too much time for Grier (28-for-42, 346 yards) and the Mountaineers, who drove 75 yards in seven plays to the 33-yard touchdown pass to Jennings. West Virginia (7-1, 5-1 in Big 12) then eschewed the extra-point kick for a gutsy two-point conversion run and the heart-stopping victory.
Ehlinger outdueled Grier, throwing for 354 yards (25-for-36) and three touchdowns but Grier had the final say.
Texas (6-3, 4-2) lost for the second straight game after winning six straight to move to as high as No. 6 in the nation.
The two teams traded scores through a wild first half in which Texas led 28-27 at halftime.
West Virginia’s Evan Staley opened the scoring with 45-yard field goal, but Ehlinger answered for the Longhorns with a 1-yard TD run. Grier put the Mountaineers ahead with a 60-yard scoring strike to a wide open David Sills V. Ehlinger responded by finding Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a 21-yard TD at the end of the first quarter to stake the Longhorns to a 14-10 lead.
Another Grier-to-Sills V touchdown pass, this one from 18 yards, gave the Mountaineers a 17-14 lead, then Tre Watson (14 carries for 80 yards) ran through the West Virginia line early in the second quarter for a 5-yard scoring run and a 21-17 Texas advantage.
Martell Pettaway (nine carries for 121 yards) sprinted through a huge hole in the Texas defense for a 55-yard TD run that gave the Mountaineers a 24-17 lead, but the Longhorns responded again, with Ehlinger hitting Watson on a wheel route out of the backfield for a 32-yard touchdown pass that allowed Texas to go back in front at 28-24.
West Virginia drew closer with a 44-yard Staley field goal with 9 seconds remaining in the half.
Texas added two Cameron Dicker field goals, from 22 and 38 yards, over the first 20 minutes of the second half to push its lead to 34-27. The Mountaineers punched back as Pettaway rambled 13 yards for the tying touchdown with 5:40 to play in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for the furious finish.
—Field Level Media