FINAL: Minnesota defeats West Virginia 18-6 in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Gold and Blue Nation

The 2021 WVU football campaign comes to a close in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night as the Mountaineers get set to face Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

WVU will be without star running back Leddie Brown as he opts out of the bowl game to prepare for his NFL career — at the same time, Minnesota will have its full roster at Chase Field to close out the season.

Stop here for all the updates as the Guaranteed Rate Bowl unfolds.

4TH QUARTER

FINAL: Minnesota eats the rest of the clock to give itself the win over West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

7:54: WVU gets its second straight three-and-out, making its seventh punt in 10 drives. Minnesota has only punted three times this game.

9:13: Minnesota is bleeding the clock out, running the ball on seven snaps of the eight-play drive. Once the drive comes to an end, they punt and pin WVU inside its own red zone. The Gophers are winning the field position battle by far, as the Mountaineers have started on their own 19 yard line on average, while Minnesota’s average drives start on the 34.

3RD QUARTER

WVU and Minnesota trade the ball twice with punts before the end of the quarter, but not before Garrett Greene gets his first snaps of the game. The Mountaineers have fourth down to start the final quarter of play.

FIELD GOAL MINNESOTA (18-6) – 5:53: The Gophers open with five straight runs, punctuated with an 11-yard connection from Tanner Morgan to Derik Lecaptain. They settle for a field goal, however, as Matthew Trickett gets his first make of the night from 49 yards out.

10:51: Justin Johnson Jr. makes an appearance, taking a pair of carries to start WVU’s first drive of the third quarter. WVU ends up punting it back to Minnesota, though, after a pair of incompletions and a sack.

12:37: The half starts with a big run from Mar’Kiese IRving, quickly getting Minnesota close to midfield. Defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor saves the day, chasing him down for the stop. Minnesota’s drive ends just as quickly, though, as they run for two losses and toss an incompletion before punting to WVU.

2ND QUARTER

WVU’s offense can’t get anything of substance in its final drive — but it’s safe to say Jarret Doege will wake up sore in the morning. He’s already been sacked three times and hurried once, and he’s taken plenty of hits throughout this one — unfortunately for WVU, the latest hit he took forced an interception — but Minnesota takes a knee to run the clock out. They’ll get the ball back to start the second half.

TOUCHDOWN MINNESOTA (15-6) – 2:14: Minnesota scores once again in just four runs. The bulk of the 61-yard drive comes from a 50-yard dash by Thomas, who is brought down by Sean Mahone. Thomas finishes it off two plays later from five yards out.

4:31: After two chunk plays by the Mountaineers, two consecutive losses have the Mountaineers punting it back to the Gophers, who will take over on their own 39.

6:44: The West Virginia defense forces its first three-and-out of the game with the help of a holding penalty from tight end Ko Kieft. The Gophers punt and set the Mountaineers up on their own 17.

TOUCHDOWN WEST VIRGINIA (8-6) – 8:48: WVU’s best drive of the day goes 75 yards in 12 plays. It ends in an unconventional manner, though — after three straight failed runs on the goal line from Tony Mathis, Jarret Doege rolls out on fourth down and looks to pass, but ends up dashing it in himself from a yard out. They attempt a wild play for the two points, but it doesn’t work.

TOUCHDOWN MINNESOTA (8-0) – 14:19: After a big rush from Mar’Keise Irving, big man Daniel Faalele punches it in for a two-yard score. Minnesota runs a fake and converts the two-point conversion.

1ST QUARTER

Minnesota has the ball in striking distance as the quarter ends scoreless.

3:19: WVU moves the chains for the first time tonight, but it all gets negated as Doege is sacked twice in a row. The Mountaineers end up with 4th and 20 on their own six yard line as they punt once again.

5:49: Minnesota gets into the red zone once again, but WVU forces a massive turnover as Ky Thomas fumbles the ball right to Charles Woods. WVU starts on its own 6.

7:56: Doege gets two completions on this drive, but they amount to just four yards. WVU gets its second three-and-out of the game as Minnesota starts its next drive on its own 42.

9:11: WVU comes out of the Minnesota timeout and holds the Gophers to a field goal attempt — first, Lance Dixon nearly picks Morgan off at the goal line, then Dante Stills gets a drive-saving sack to halt the offense. Matthew Trickett gets his first field goal attempt of the game and misses to his left — WVU takes over on its own 20.

9:58: The Gophers get a quick push into the red zone with a nearly even mix of pass and run. Quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Ky Thomas have the Minnesota offense averaging more than seven yards every play on the opening drive. Now, they’re in striking distance with the ball on the five yard line.

14:15: The Mountaineers open this one with a three-and-out. Jarret Doege completes his first pass to Tony Mathis, but he is unable to find anyone downfield on second and third downs. WVU punts it to Minnesota’s 43 yard line.

West Virginia receives the opening kickoff — we are underway at Chase Field.

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