Don Nehlen Honored , WVU Rout Cincinnati 42-21
MORGANTOWN, WV—-On a day honoring Hall Of Fame Mountaineer football coach Don Nehlen, WVU routed the Cincinnati Bearcats 42-21 with 634 yards of offense behind quarterback Garrett Greene and Jahiem White. (Ironically, Nehlen’s first game as the Mountaineer coach was against the Bearcats opening up the new stadium in 1980. WVU won that contest 41-27).
Jahiem White ran for a career high 204 yards and Greene added 154 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. The last time WVU reached over 600 yards was vs. Kansas in a 56-34 win in 2017. The running game resembled a Nehlen type ground attack.
“We’ve finished well at home winning our last two games convincingly and finished 5-1 overall,” WVU coach Neal Brown said. “This is becoming a hard place to play'” he added.
White becomes the first WVU ball carrier to reach 200 yards since Justin Crawford did it versus Baylor in 2016. Greene became the first Mountaineer quarterback since Pat White to have 3 touchdown rushing games in 2006. It’s also the second time in 3 weeks WVU has had multiple 100 yard rushers. Also it’s just the eleventh time in school history two players have rushed for more than 150 yards in the same game. The last time was in 2008 when Noel Devine and Pat White did it at Louisville.
“The game was won in the trenches,” Greene said. “I thought our O-line played phenomenal, it’s the best in America.” he added. The mainstream sports media have not really given WVU’s O-line much exposure. Greene completed 12 of 19 passes for 210 yards and a TD before giving way to backup Nicco Marchiol in the final quarter.
“Garrett bounced back, and he’s the ultimate competitor,” Brown said. “Last week (Vs. Oklahoma) was the first time he didn’t have success this year. The best trait he has is his competitiveness. That ate at him and he took that personal and came back and performed,” Brown said. “Most of Garrett’s chunk plays were read plays that he made,” Brown added. (Mountaineer Sports noticed that Greene wasn’t himself against Oklahoma last week.)
Cincinnati came into Saturday’s matchup having rushed for more than 200 yards in four straight games. They were held to 153 on 31 attempts.
With the Mountaineer win West Virginia is now 7-4 and 5-3 in the conference. It assured itself of a winning season for the second time under Neal Brown and its most wins since 2018.
In our last article, we said if Neal Brown can win one of the last two remaining games on the schedule, he deserves another year as head coach at WVU. Unless Wren Baker has a massive surprise ahead, we anticipate Neal Brown returning for the 2024 season and we hope the momentum from this season continues forward.
WVU wraps up the regular season at Baylor next Saturday. The game will be televised by FS1 and will be another night game starting at 7 p.m.