By Mike Stockman
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (December 29, 2014) Texas A&M’s freshman quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, AZ threw for 294 yards, had four touchdown passes, and scrambled for a 14 yard touchdown to lead the Aggies in a 45 – 37 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2014 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee on December 29, 2014.
This was the first meeting between Texas A&M and West Virginia in football. However, both schools have experience in the Liberty Bowl, which has been around since 1959. In 1964, West Virginia lost to Utah 32 – 6. In 1975, the Aggies were shut out by the USC Trojans 20 – 0.
The head coaches Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia) worked together at the University of Houston earlier in their careers. Sumlin was the head coach for University of Houston from 2007 to 2011. In 2008 and 2009, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. During these two years, the Cougars were ranked in the NCAA as No.3 and No.1 in total offense.
This set the stage for what would be the second highest scoring Liberty Bowl game ever. In all, there were seven touchdown passes (four touchdown passes over 40 yards), two running touchdowns, an interception run back for a touchdown, four field goals, and – of course – 10 extra points made.
Total offense was just over 1000 yards, the Aggies had 529 yards while the Mountaineers had 472 yards.
The Aggies’ Josh Reynolds began the scoring early in the first quarter on a 44 yard touchdown reception from Allen. Malcome Kennedy had two touchdown receptions, one for 11 yards and the other for 9 yards. Trey Williams had a 40 yard touchdown reception and a running touchdown of 18 yards. Josh Lambo kicked a field goal from 26 yards out and was 6 – 6 on extra point attempts.
The West Virginia Mountaineers’ quarterback Skyler Howard (Sophomore), from Ft. Worth, TX threw for 346 yards and three touchdown passes. The longest touchdown pass of the day was to Kevin White for 49 yards. Mario Alford scored on a 45 yard reception. The final touchdown pass was to Elijah Wellman for 4 yards.
The Mountaineers’ defense contributed to the scoring when freshman KJ Dillon picked off an interception and ran it back for a 35 yard touchdown. Josh Lambert scored three field goals (32, 40, and 31 yards out) and was 4-4 on extra points to finish out West Virginia’s 37 points.
This loss brings West Virginia’s bowl record to 14 – 19. For Texas A&M, this is the fourth straight bowl win, the best consecutive record in the school’s history. The Aggies are now 17 – 19 in bowl games.