When you get around your fellow Mountaineers, and you reminisce about WVU history and some of the players that have marched through Morgantown through the years, the conversation invariably runs to “Oh, do you remember when ____ did that against ____!?” We can usually tell you where we were and who we were with when a particular play went down.
We here at WVU Pros are here to help you to take those strolls down memory lane. We have compiled some of our favorite moments in Mountaineer history, and our artistic friend John Radcliff of Smoking Musket has offered to create a series of animated GIFs that play over and over in a never-ending loop of those plays.
First up is a play known simply as “The Run.”
It came on a Thursday night on Oct. 3, 2003 when the Mountaineers traveled south to play the #1 ranked defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes. Going into the game, Miami had won 36 regular season games in a row. What they didn’t know, was that they were in for a fight against the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers were in their third season with Rich Rodriguez the head coach. Following the biggest turnaround in Big East history, the Mountaineers were 1-4 entering the game.
Going into halftime, the game was tied 10-10. The game was a defensive struggle for both sides. Miami Freshman, Jon Peattie came out in the 2nd half and kicked two field goals in the 3rd and one to start the 4th quarter before Brad Cooper answered with a field goal of his own with 10 minutes left in the game to cut the Miami lead to 6.
The two teams traded punts until the Mountaineers got the ball back with about 4 minutes left to play. Until that point, the Rasheed Marshall-led offense had not converted a 3rd-down in the game. With just over two minutes left in the game, on a 3rd and 13, Marshall threw a screen pass to Quincy Wilson.
Wilson then juked future NFLer, Vince Wilfork, behind the line of scrimmage, he then broke another tackle, before bowling over and then hurdling Brandon Meriweather on his way to the go-ahead touchdown with 2:oo minutes left in the game.
I remember the elation that I felt sitting at the end of my bed, cheering with my younger brother and dad. In my life, to that point, I can’t remember being so excited about the Mountaineers. “The Run” went on to earn the ‘Play of the Year’ from ESPN.
The elation was short-lived however, as Brock Berlin led Miami down the field for the game-winning field-goal with ten seconds left in the game.
The loss sent the Mountaineers to a 1-5 record, but that was their lone Big East loss as they went on to tie Miami for the Big East Championship. The Mountaineers lost to Maryland in the Gator Bowl that season.
What do you remember about that game and that play? What other plays in Mountaineer history would you like for us to highlight? Feel free to comment.