After four months, football finally returned to Milan-Puskar Stadium with Saturday afternoon’s Gold-Blue game.
The Gold team served as the offense while the Blue team served as the defense.
After scoring on its opening drive, the Gold team failed to generate much offense as the Blue team dominated for much of the game.
Redshirt junior quarterback and Florida transfer Will Grier made his much anticipated debut and went 12-18 for 202 yards.
Grier alternated possessions with redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Chugunov who finished 10-22 for 98 yards.
West Virginia’s defense was led by sophomore Jovanni Stewart who racked up five tackles.
The Gold team wasted no time, scoring a touchdown on the fifth play of the drive with a 51-yard run from senior running back Justin Crawford to go up 7-0.
On the following drive, the Blue team got on the board with a defensive drop and three points to make it a 7-3 advantage for the Gold, but then a fumbled exchange from Gier to sophomore running back Martell Pettaway added six points for the Blue team to give them a 9-7 advantage at the end of first quarter.
The defense took control in the second quarter with a three defensive stops and two three and outs to take a 28-7 lead.
It wasn’t until Grier connected with redshirt junior receiver Ricky Rogers for a 60-yard pass down to the three-yard line when the Gold team got a spark. Two plays later, Pettaway would score from three yards out to cut the deficit to 14 points with 2:27 left in the first half. Another defensive stop would make 31-14 in favor of the Blue team at halftime.
Despite a 34-yard pass from Grier to Sills on the opening drive of the second half, the Blue team came up with another stop to go up 34-14. A three and out on the ensuing drive then extended the Blue team’s lead to 39-14.
In the third quarter, former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and other alumni made a special appearance in the game for one play without pads which ended with Smith throwing an 85-yard touchdown to former receiver Shelton Gibson to make the score 44-21 in favor of the Blue team.
The defense continued to dominate through most of the second half and came up victorious in the scrimmage by a score of 44-21.
Next for the Mountaineers is fall camp beginning in August, followed by the team’s season opener against Virginia Tech on Sept. 3 at FedexField in Landover, Md.