The Mountaineers opened the quarter putting together a 72 yard drive on the back of Tavon Austin, who hauled in four passes including a 39 yard catch and run where he sliced through the Cincinnati defense and a nimble one handed grab along the sidelines. The WVU offense stalled out in the redzone and Tyler Bitancurt converted a 28 yard field goal and the Mountaineers took a 10-7 lead, their first of the game.
On the ensuing Bearcat possession, the much-maligned Mountaineer defense made a huge play that could end up being one of the biggest of the season. Bruce Irvin wrapped up Cincy QB Zach Collaros with his back to the goal line, and as Irvin dragged his man to the ground the ball slipped free. Julian Miller fell on the football in the end-zone for a Mountaineer touchdown, giving the 'Eers a 17-10 lead. It was a fantastic example of team effort and, most importantly, was the result of an effective pass rush something which has eluded the Mountaineers this season. Collaros was forced to leave the game with a knee injury as a result of Irvin's tackle.
Cincinnati backup quarterback Munchie Legaux, he of the awesome-est name in sports, entered the football game and immediately handed the football back to the Mountaineers, throwing a third down interception to Mountaineer safety Keith Tandy. The Mountaineers drive resulted in punt.
Heading into halftime the Mountaineers have all the momentum, and could put this one away early if they come out in the third quarter with a good effort. Cincy is clearly shaken on offense, and the Mountaineer offense continues to move the football.