CHARLOTTE, N.C.–Will Grier started off his Heisman campaign with an impressive performance in West Virginia’s 40-14 win over Tennessee on Saturday afternoon in the Belk College Kickoff Classic.
The redshirt senior threw a career-high 429 yards on 25-for-34 passing. He had five touchdowns and no interceptions.
Martell Petteway rushed for 56 yards and Leddie Brown had 33 for the Mountaineers.
David Sills had 140 yards and two touchdowns while Gary Jennings caught six passes for 113 yards and one touchdown.
The Mountaineers’ defense held the Volunteers to 129 rushing yards and 172 passing yards on a relatively solid performance.
Tim Jordan ran for 118 yards on 20 carries for Tennessee, including a four-yard run that pulled the Vols within 27-14 in the third quarter.
After a slow first half and an hour and five minute weather delay, WVU’s offense exploded in the second half.
Grier connected with Sills for a 33-yard touchdown pass, capping a 68-yard drive to give WVU a 20-7 lead with 12:54 left in the third quarter.
Then Grier found Jennings for a 28-yard touchdown reception to give the Mountaineers a 27-7 lead with 8:09 to play.
WVU wasn’t done yet.
On his first snap of the game, Kennedy McKoy found the end zone on a 14-yard pass from Grier. The Heisman hopeful added one more touchdown pass late in the fourth to Sills.
The Mountaineers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter when T.J. Simmons grabbed a 59-yard pass across the middle from Grier.
Tennessee responded when the Vols went for it on fourth down and Jarrett Guarantano found a wide-open Dominick Wood-Anderson in the end zone.
Sills moved into a tie with Chris Henry for fourth place on WVU’s career touchdown receiving list with 22.
Grier threw passes to 11 different Mountaineers during the victory,
WVU opens the season at home against Youngstown State next Saturday at 6 p.m.
Cover Photo Credit: Ashley O’Brien, BGS