The fourth quarter started as the third quarter ended for the Mountaineers: on their heels. Following a 17 yard third down conversion by Cincinnati, Isaiah Pead barreled 10 yards for his second touchdown of the day, giving the Bearcats a 21-17 lead. Cincinnati clawed back into this football game and all of a sudden things looked dire for WVU.
The WVU offense responded by finally showing the first urgency in the second half. After a pair of huge third down catches from Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, the Mountaineers got down inside the ten and ground out a touchdown. After a pounding rush from Andrew Buie, Shawn Alston dove in from the one yard line and the Mountaineers retook the lead. After looking asleep for much of the second half, the offense played with urgency, a feat the defense would need to match for the remainder of the quarter.
Match they did, with Najee Goode sacking Leguax deep in the backfield and forcing a punt. Geno Smith and company stalled out on the next driving and were forced to punt the football back to the Bearcats, putting the defense back onto the field. Legaux was stymied on the next possession and Cincy went three and out after a big pass breakup by Keith Tandy on third and long. Tavon Austin made a good return on the punt, and the Mountaineers got the football back in Cincy territory, but the Mountaineers couldn't deliver the finishing blow, missing a long field goal.
Munchie Legaux immediately responded by doing what Geno Smith couldn't, hooking up for two completions and moving quickly and deeply into WVU territory. Kicker Tony Miliano strolled onto the field with 3 seconds left to attempt a game tying 31 yard field goal which was blocked by the Mountaineer defense.
In the second half, the defense bailed out the offense repeatedly and the Mountaineers were able to outlast a scrappy Cincinnati team that appeared to be on the ropes. With all the problems which have plagued WVU on both defense and special teams lately, it's refreshing to see them carry the day.
The win moves WVU to 3-2 in the Big East along with... every other team in the conference. The season's not quite over yet folks.