West Virginia holds line to snatch Black Diamond Trophy from No. 15 Virginia Tech

Gold and Blue Nation

WVU’s Jackie Matthews defends the final pass from Braxton Burmeister to Tre Turner to seal West Virginia’s win over No. 15 Virginia Tech at Milan Puskar Stadium on Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Tanner Halstead)

The Black Diamond Trophy is staying in Morgantown after West Virginia defeated No. 15 Virginia Tech 27-21 at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday.

The Mountaineers (2-1) found success on the back of Leddie Brown, who logged 141 all-purpose yards on the day, including 106 on the ground. The West Virginia defense was also particularly stout, forcing four threes-and-out and a game-winning goal line stand in the last as Virginia Tech (2-1) threatened the end zone.

Brown got a major head start on his big day when he took his first carry of the game 80 yards to the end zone. That was on just the second play for the WVU offense after the defense forced the first of five Hokie punts.

The Mountaineers added another touchdown on the second drive, when Jarret Doege found Bryce Ford-Wheaton for 29 yards.

By this point, the West Virginia offense had run just five plays, had the ball for a minute and 46 seconds, and led Virginia Tech by two touchdowns.

Tayvion Robinson scored the first points for Virginia Tech in the closing minutes of the first quarter, snagging a pass from Braxton Burmeister for 23 yards — but it wasn’t enough to knock the Mountaineers off balance. WVU added 10 more points before the half, one coming on a touchdown connection from Doege to Sam James, then another off the foot of Casey Legg for a 21-yard field goal — his first of two on the day.

Momentum shifted to favor the Hokies in the second half as the Mountaineer offense lost some steam. WVU converted just one third down all half and was held without a touchdown, despite out-possessing Virginia tech by nearly four minutes. Three of the Hokies’ drives in the half started in Mountaineer territory, and they were able to turn that into two touchdowns.

Raheem Blackshear scored the first touchdown for Virginia tech on a 20-yard rush with one second left in the third quarter. Braxton Burmeister then found Jalen Holston wide open in the middle for 29 yards to bring the Hokies within a touchdown with three minutes left.

WVU had one chance to seal the game after that touchdown, but on third down, Doege was intercepted by Jordan Waller in Mountaineer territory to set up a potentially game-winning drive for the Hokies.

It all came down to an and-goal situation for the Hokies. The Mountaineers got all four stops, resulting in their second goal line stand of the fourth quarter.

Doege finished the contest 15-of-25 through the air for 193 yards and two touchdowns with a lost fumble and the interception in the fourth quarter. Garrett Greene also made several appearances for the Mountaineers at quarterback, getting four rushes for 28 yards.

Burmeister threw 19-of-29 for 227 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 11 yards on the ground on 16 rushes. He was greatly bothered by the WVU defense, who sacked him six times, including a forced and recovered fumble by the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers close out their non-conference schedule with a victory over the rival Hokies, picking up their first ranked victory in the process. They start Big 12 play on Sept. 25 against No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman.

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