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Clutch child: Nicco Marchiol steps up when it mattered most for WVU’s offense

MORGANTOWN — There have been two distinct sides to Nicco Marchiol’s first collegiate begin on Saturday.

West Virginia’s redshirt freshman quarterback completed 12 of 21 for 78 yards and a key landing within the Mountaineers’ 20-13 victory in opposition to Texas Tech.

He additionally led the staff with 78 yards dashing, however threw two interceptions.

“Clearly it was not quarterback efficiency on my finish,” Marchiol stated. “It may’ve been significantly better. There was no excuse for among the errors made on the market.”

On this case, the stats don’t inform the entire story on the subject of Marchiol, who crammed in for an injured Garrett Greene.

As an illustration, his two interceptions got here in a primary half when the Crimson Raiders (1-3, 0-1 Massive 12) couldn’t transfer the ball and posed little menace.

But they weren’t the most effective of selections, both.

“He made a extremely dangerous play on the (first) interception,” WVU head coach Neal Brown stated. “He held the ball without end. The man was coated. He wasn’t open and it was a foul choice.

“I type of advised him laughing, ‘We’re sporting gold they usually’re sporting white. Should you see white in entrance of gold, don’t throw it.’ We didn’t must make it any tougher than what it’s.”

The flip aspect to Marchiol’s evening was the clutch moments, or “The gotta-have-it-plays,” in Marchiol’s personal phrases.

That got here within the second half, as soon as Texas Tech had turned a 13-3 deficit right into a 13-10 fascinating ball sport within the fourth quarter.

As Marchiol tells the story, WVU defensive lineman Sean Martin ran over to him after Tech’s landing and began giving him the enterprise.

“He obtained after me a little bit bit, obtained me fired up,” Marchiol stated.

This was not a sport the place Brown may ease his freshman quarterback together with conservative considering and child gloves.

“The sport goes 13-10, and I advised him, ‘Pay attention now, we’re going to chop this factor free. We’re going to throw the soccer,’ ” Brown stated. “We needed to throw the soccer. They had been loading the field.”

It’s in that occasion the place Marchiol thrived. Overlook the sooner errors, the drops, the interceptions and the unimpressive stats.

In that one possession, Marchiol led WVU (3-1, 1-0) to victory by residing as much as his potential.

“We opened it up a little bit extra,” stated WVU tight finish Kole Taylor, who caught Marchiol’s 9-yard landing cross that gave WVU a 20-10 lead with 7:33 remaining within the sport. “He made some large performs, made a pleasant cross on the landing. All I needed to do was catch it.”

On that one drive, Marchiol took a designed run 17 yards that obtained the Mountaineers into Texas Tech territory.

“He ran the ball properly, and on that drive, that (run) was large,” Brown stated.

He was additionally an ideal 3 for 3 passing 32 yards — Texas Tech was known as for cross interference on one other cross play — that was capped off with the scoring cross to Taylor.

“We ran that play about 4 occasions and it lastly popped open on the landing,” Brown stated.

“I really feel I type of carry out higher when there’s that type of pressure,” Marchiol added. “That is your second. You requested for it, what are you going to do with it?”

What he did with it was take what was in any other case a subpar night and switch it right into a constructive within the span of minutes.

“I’m simply completely satisfied issues went our means,” Marchiol stated. “Guys got here open. There have been some wonderful catches on that drive.”