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Grier throws 4 TDs, No. 14 WVU beats Youngstown State 52-17

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia's Gary Jennings slammed the door on all those jokes at his expense about his lack of scoring a year ago.

The senior is more than making up for it so far in 2018.

Jennings caught three touchdown passes from Will Grier to lead No. 14 West Virginia to a 52-17 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday night.

''It feels great,'' Jennings said. ''And the win feels even better.''

Jennings led West Virginia with 97 catches for 1,096 yards a year ago, but had just one TD catch the entire season. Grier, meanwhile, threw 18 of his 34 scoring tosses to David Sills in 2017.

During the offseason, Jennings was on the receiving end of ribbing from his coaches.

''We gave him so much crap,'' West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. ''He scored 1 percent of the time he touched the ball. He was tired of hearing it.''

Jennings got plenty of attention from Grier on Saturday, boosting his total to four scores in two games.

''It was good to see him get in the end zone,'' Holgorsen said.

Jennings had a 33-yard TD catch in the third quarter after scores of 11 and 24 yards in the second.

After a slow start in the rain, the Mountaineers (2-0) piled up 625 total yards in winning their 15th straight home opener.

''We made in-game adjustments and it worked out for us,'' Jennings said.

Grier also had a 40-yard scoring toss to Dominique Maiden in the fourth quarter. Grier completed 21 of 26 passes for 332 yards. Marcus Simms had eight catches for 119 yards for the Mountaineers.

Youngstown State was within 28-14 after Tevin McCaster's 13-yard scoring run early in the third quarter, but West Virginia scored touchdowns 50 seconds apart late in the period, aided by a Dravon Askew-Henry interception, to put it out of reach.

West Virginia used a rotation of four running backs to balance things out on offense.

Freshman Leddie Brown rushed for 115 yards on 15 carries. Alec Sinkfield started and opened the scoring on a 9-yard run, but left the game in the second quarter with a left leg injury and did not return. Holgorsen said after the game that Sinkfield ''should be fine.''

FCS Youngstown State (0-2) was limited to 293 total yards. Notre Dame transfer Montgomery VanGorder was 11 of 24 for 157 yards.

West Virginia converted seven of 11 chances on third down, prompting Youngstown State coach Bo Pelini to bemoan his team's inability to stop drives.

''We created enough third downs for ourselves,'' Pelini said. ''We just couldn't get off the field.''

THE TAKEAWAY

West Virginia: The Mountaineers' most pressing task was shoring up a defense that has lost three linebackers to injuries since spring practice, including starter Charlie Benton last week. JoVanni Stewart , who had one start last season at safety, was moved into Benton's place against the Penguins and had two quarterback hurries and a tackle for loss. Starting linebacker David Long had a team-high 10 tackles. West Virginia also rotated plenty of players on the defensive line.

Holgorsen said the decision to start the 5-foot-8, 191-pound Stewart was a matter of ''just getting the best 11 out there, more than anything.''

He then joked: ''We didn't want David to be the shortest linebacker in the country anymore.''

Youngstown State: The Penguins have lost six straight to Power Five schools since beating Pittsburgh in 2012. Youngstown State's inexperienced secondary had a tough task in covering West Virginia's deep roster of receivers.

JENNINGS ON BROWN

After Brown had eight carries for 33 yards in a 40-14 win over Tennessee last week , he stepped up after Sinkfield left Saturday's game, leaving his teammates impressed.

''He's a very hard runner,'' Jennings said of the 211-pound Brown. ''It's going to take more than one guy usually to bring him down. He's going to be very impressive in the future.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

West Virginia will find it tough to move up in the rankings with few upsets in the AP Top 25 this week.

UP NEXT

Youngstown State: Hosts Valparaiso next Saturday.

West Virginia: Travels to North Carolina State next Saturday. The last time the teams met was in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl, won by the Wolfpack 23-7.

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 8:42
30-E.Staley 32 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
64
yds
03:21
pos
17
52
Point After TD 14:37
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
49
Touchdown 14:37
7-W.Grier complete to 82-D.Maiden. 82-D.Maiden runs 40 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
50
yds
00:23
pos
17
48
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:07
99-Z.Kennedy 46 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
82
yds
03:08
pos
17
42
Point After TD 3:20
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
42
Touchdown 3:20
6-K.McKoy runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
34
yds
00:30
pos
14
41
Point After TD 4:02
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
35
Touchdown 4:02
4-L.Brown runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
14
plays
140
yds
05:27
pos
14
34
Point After TD 9:29
99-Z.Kennedy extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
28
Touchdown 9:29
37-T.McCaster runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
75
yds
02:50
pos
13
28
Point After TD 12:19
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
28
Touchdown 12:19
7-W.Grier complete to 12-G.Jennings. 12-G.Jennings runs 33 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
71
yds
01:11
pos
7
27
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:00
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
21
Touchdown 1:00
7-W.Grier complete to 12-G.Jennings. 12-G.Jennings runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
65
yds
02:32
pos
7
20
Point After TD 9:01
99-Z.Kennedy extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
14
Touchdown 9:01
12-M.VanGorder complete to 80-M.Joiner. 80-M.Joiner runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
104
yds
03:51
pos
6
14
Point After TD 12:52
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
14
Touchdown 12:52
7-W.Grier complete to 12-G.Jennings. 12-G.Jennings runs 11 yards for a touchdown.
12
plays
78
yds
02:06
pos
0
13
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 3:50
30-E.Staley extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 3:50
20-A.Sinkfield runs 9 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
99
yds
03:51
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 19 29
Rushing 8 11
Passing 8 17
Penalty 3 1
3rd Down Conv 4-12 7-11
4th Down Conv 1-1 1-1
Total Net Yards 293 621
Total Plays 60 75
Avg Gain 4.9 8.3
Net Yards Rushing 136 289
Rush Attempts 36 46
Avg Rush Yards 3.8 6.3
Net Yards Passing 157 332
Comp. - Att. 11-24 22-29
Yards Per Pass 6.5 11.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 1-4
Penalties - Yards 8-65 12-114
Touchdowns 2 7
Rushing TDs 1 3
Passing TDs 1 4
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles - Lost 4-0 3-0
Int. Thrown 1 1
Punts - Avg 6-43.2 1-49.0
Return Yards 59 90
Punts - Returns 0-0 2-13
Kickoffs - Returns 4-59 4-77
Int. - Returns 1-0 1-0
Kicking 3/3 8/8
Extra Points 2/2 7/7
Field Goals 1/1 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Youngstown St. 0-2 0710017
14 West Virginia 2-0 714211052
157 PASS YDS 332
136 RUSH YDS 289
293 TOTAL YDS 621
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
M. VanGorder 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
45.8% 157 1 1 106.2
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
45.8% 157 1 1 106.2
M. VanGorder 11/24 157 1 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. McCaster 37 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
14 72 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
14 72 1
T. McCaster 14 72 1 20
C. Turner 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 48 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 48 0
C. Turner 10 48 0 20
M. VanGorder 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
12 16 0
M. VanGorder 12 16 0 11
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Z. Farrar 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 135 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 135 0
Z. Farrar 6 135 0 43
J. Cummings 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 15 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 15 0
J. Cummings 2 15 0 9
T. McCaster 37 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 8 0
T. McCaster 1 8 0 8
M. Joiner 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 1
M. Joiner 1 4 1 4
D. Shackleford 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Shackleford 0 0 0 0
S. St. Surin 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
S. St. Surin 0 0 0 0
C. Cooper 84 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Cooper 0 0 0 0
K. Mallory 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
K. Mallory 0 0 0 0
C. Turner 20 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 -5 0
C. Turner 1 -5 0 -5
Defense T-A SACK INT
C. Lee 19 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
10-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
10-2 0 0.0
C. Lee 10-2 0.0 0
W. Latham 5 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
W. Latham 7-1 0.0 1
A. Dellovade 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
A. Dellovade 7-0 0.0 0
S. Bynum 50 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
S. Bynum 5-0 0.0 0
W. Thompson 91 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 1.0
W. Thompson 4-0 1.0 0
B. Gibson 7 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
B. Gibson 4-0 0.0 0
J. Louigene 33 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
J. Louigene 3-0 0.0 0
A. Larkin 15 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
A. Larkin 3-1 0.0 0
S. Smith 52 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
S. Smith 3-2 0.0 0
A. Cook 9 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Cook 2-0 0.0 0
L. Ragland 76 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
L. Ragland 2-0 0.0 0
C. Randall-Posey 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Randall-Posey 1-0 0.0 0
C. Mitchell 3 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
C. Mitchell 1-1 0.0 0
C. Parks 41 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Parks 1-0 0.0 0
M. Jackson 25 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Jackson 1-0 0.0 0
J. Alessi 30 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
J. Alessi 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Z. Kennedy 99 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 2/2
SEASON FG XP
1/1 2/2
Z. Kennedy 1/1 46 2/2 5
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Schuler 85 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 43.2 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
6 43.2 2
M. Schuler 6 43.2 2 56
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
N. Payne 26 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 18.5 19 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 18.5 19 0
N. Payne 2 18.5 19 0
K. Hegedus 10 S
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
K. Hegedus 1 15.0 15 0
C. Turner 20 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
C. Turner 1 0.0 0 0
J. Coates 10 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 15.0 15 0
J. Coates 1 15.0 15 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
W. Grier 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
80.8% 332 4 1 231.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
80.8% 332 4 1 231.1
W. Grier 21/26 332 4 1
J. Allison 17 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
33.3% 4 0 0 44.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
33.3% 4 0 0 44.5
J. Allison 1/3 4 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
L. Brown 4 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 115 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 115 1
L. Brown 15 115 1 18
M. Pettaway 32 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 77 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
12 77 0
M. Pettaway 12 77 0 20
K. McKoy 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 76 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
11 76 1
K. McKoy 11 76 1 26
A. Sinkfield 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 24 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 24 1
A. Sinkfield 5 24 1 9
B. Watson 35 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
B. Watson 1 0 0 0
W. Grier 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
W. Grier 2 -3 0 1
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Simms 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
8 119 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 119 0
M. Simms 8 119 0 31
G. Jennings Jr. 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 97 3
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 97 3
G. Jennings Jr. 6 97 3 33
D. Maiden 82 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 40 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 40 1
D. Maiden 1 40 1 40
D. Sills V 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 33 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 33 0
D. Sills V 2 33 0 19
T. Simmons 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 23 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 23 0
T. Simmons 2 23 0 12
K. McKoy 6 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 11 0
K. McKoy 1 11 0 11
T. Bush 14 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 9 0
T. Bush 1 9 0 9
J. Haskins 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
J. Haskins 1 4 0 4
W. Crest Jr. 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
W. Crest Jr. 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
D. Long Jr. 11 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-0 0 0.0
D. Long Jr. 9-0 0.0 0
J. Robinson 12 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
J. Robinson 4-0 0.0 0
K. Washington 28 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
K. Washington 3-0 0.0 0
D. Pitts Jr. 1 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
D. Pitts Jr. 3-0 0.0 0
K. Robinson Jr. 2 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
K. Robinson Jr. 3-0 0.0 0
T. Avery Jr. 3 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
T. Avery Jr. 3-2 0.0 0
J. Norwood 4 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
J. Norwood 3-2 0.0 0
J. Chandler 35 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Chandler 2-0 0.0 0
Da. Stills 55 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 1.0
Da. Stills 2-0 1.0 0
H. Bailey 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
H. Bailey 2-0 0.0 0
J. Stewart 9 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Stewart 2-0 0.0 0
J. Adams 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Adams 1-0 0.0 0
B. Thrift 90 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
B. Thrift 1-0 0.0 0
O. Kamara 25 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
O. Kamara 1-0 0.0 0
D. Bonamico 39 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Bonamico 1-0 0.0 0
K. Bigelow Jr. 40 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Bigelow Jr. 1-0 0.0 0
J. Pooler Jr. 13 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Pooler Jr. 1-0 0.0 0
D. Lindsay 26 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
D. Lindsay 0-1 0.0 0
D. Askew-Henry 6 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
D. Askew-Henry 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Staley 30 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 7/7
SEASON FG XP
1/1 7/7
E. Staley 1/1 32 7/7 10
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
B. Kinney 15 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 49.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
1 49.0 1
B. Kinney 1 49.0 1 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Simms 8 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 13.3 26 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 13.3 26 0
M. Simms 3 13.3 26 0
M. Pettaway 32 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 37.0 37 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 37.0 37 0
M. Pettaway 1 37.0 37 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Simms 8 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 6.5 10 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 6.5 10 0
M. Simms 2 6.5 10 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:41 YST 23 1:48 4 20 Punt
3:50 YST 25 1:30 3 0 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:52 YST 25 3:51 12 75 TD
7:12 YST 7 3:28 9 32 Punt
0:54 YST 16 0:39 3 8 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 YST 25 1:22 4 -18 Punt
12:19 YST 25 2:50 6 75 TD
3:56 YST 20 0:00 1 80 INT
3:15 YST 16 3:08 8 56 FG
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:32 YST 35 2:22 5 5 Punt
8:37 YST 25 8:00 14 25 Punt
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:57 WVU 14 5:09 13 53 INT
7:41 WVU 1 3:51 10 99 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
2:10 WVU 32 2:06 12 68 TD
8:54 WVU 29 1:28 5 15 Punt
3:32 WVU 35 2:32 7 65 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:30 WVU 49 1:11 4 51 TD
9:29 WVU 18 5:27 14 82 TD
3:50 YST 34 0:30 2 34 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 YST 50 0:23 3 50 TD
12:03 WVU 22 3:21 8 64 FG