Houston beat West Virginia 41-39 thanks to a 49-yard Hail Mary on the final play of the game. Cougars quarterback Donovan Smith's pass was tipped and caught by Stephon Johnson Jr. as time expired. The dramatic touchdown capped off a wild fourth quarter that saw the Mountaineers take the lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass with just 12 seconds left to set up Houston's improbable finale.
Houston led by as much as 11 midway through the fourth period before West Virginia rallied back. The Mountaineers cut the deficit to three on a touchdown run by quarterback Garrett Greene and subsequent 2-point conversion. West Virginia then forced a punt to get the ball back one last time. On fourth-and-10 with the game on the line, Greene found an open Hudson Clement, who worked his way to the end zone for the go-ahead score.
Alas, the Cougars had one final miracle left in the tank as Smith's prayer landed in Johnson's hands for the duo's second touchdown of the night. Smith finished the night completing 78% of his passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first-ever Big 12 victory for the conference-newcomer Cougars. It also gave coach Dana Holgorsen a win over his former team. He served as Mountaineers head man from 2011-18.
The frantic finish at TDECU Stadium can be seen below.
For West Virginia, the loss snapped a four-game winning streak. West Virginia won the total yardage battle 546-393 and had the edge in time of possession, but it wasn't enough to overcome an opportunistic Cougars team. Greene passed for 391 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a losing effort.