MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia bounced back from a blowout loss on the road with an impressive showing on both sides of the ball.
Freshman Jahiem White rushed for a season-high 204 yards, Garrett Greene ran for a career-high 154 and the pair combined for five touchdowns in a 42-21 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday.
West Virginia (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) turned a matchup of two of the league's top rushing teams into a one-sided affair early and now has the most wins in a season under fifth-year coach Neal Brown.
On a day when retired Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen was honored at the stadium he opened in 1980, the Mountaineers piled up 424 yards on the ground behind a veteran offensive line. That's the highest under Brown and the most for West Virginia since going for 426 against Kansas in 2015. The 634 total yards also were the Mountaineers' highest this season.
“Really, just a dominant performance,” Brown said.
Brown called Greene “the ultimate competitor” who took last week's loss at Oklahoma especially hard and personal.
Against Cincinnati, “he was on from the very beginning,” Brown said.
By halftime, Greene had already surpassed his previous high of 119 yards rushing set last year. He had 117 yards rushing against Oklahoma State last month. White had 168 yards rushing after halftime.
Cincinnati (3-8, 1-7) has lost seven of eight and will finish in last place either alone or tied with others in its first season in the Big 12.
The Bearcats, who had surpassed 200 rushing yards in their four previous games, got off to a rough start, punting on their first four possessions. By then, West Virginia was already up 21-0, and Cincinnati was forced to rely on the pass in trying to mount a comeback.
“They kick our butts tonight," Cincinnati coach Scott Satterfield said. "There's no other way to say it. They were blocking us all night long. Even when we had free hitters, we didn't tackle.”
Greene had scoring runs of 3, 26 and 18 yards. He threw a second-quarter sideline pass that White turned into a 75-yard score. White also had a 4-yard TD run and CJ Donaldson scored his 11th touchdown of the season, a 13-yard run in the second quarter.
Greene, who finished with 210 passing yards, joined Pat White as the only West Virginia quarterbacks with at least 150 rushing yards and 200 passing yards in a game.
Jahiem White had a season-high 21 carries and got more work because Donaldson was limited after sustaining a leg injury last week.
“I knew I had to step up,” White said. "I just wanted to show the world my talent.”
Nehlen’s name was added next to Major Harris and five others whose numbers have been retired and displayed along Mountaineer Field's north end zone. The ceremony occurred two weeks after West Virginia retired the No. 66 of NFL Hall of Famer Chuck Howley.
Nehlen’s first college coaching job was as an assistant at Cincinnati in 1963. His first game at West Virginia in 1980 was against Cincinnati. He retired in 2000 with 202 career wins.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats have allowed at least 30 points six times in Big 12 play. Backup quarterback Brady Lichtenberg provided one of the few offensive sparks with a pair of long runs and a 22-yard pass to Evan Prater that set up Emory Jones’ 1-yard TD run in the second quarter. Jones also had a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes to tight end Chamon Metayer.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers, who allowed 644 yards to Oklahoma a week ago, limited the Bearcats to 139 yards in the first half and 344 overall.
“For three quarters, our defensive line was dominant,” Brown said.
Cincinnati hosts Kansas next Saturday.
West Virginia plays at Baylor next Saturday.
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