Duquesne 17-56 West Virginia (September 9, 2023) Game Summary
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Hudson Clement’s performance impressed Neil Brown so much that the West Virginia coach put him on scholarship immediately after the game.
The redshirt freshman caught three of Garrett Green’s four touchdown passes in his college debut, and West Virginia weathered a nearly two-hour weather delay and its own early mistakes to beat Duquesne 56-17 on Saturday night.
Clement was told he would start in place of Devin Carter just before the game. The Browns didn’t like how Carter looked in pregame warmups after getting stomped in practice on Wednesday.
“I think life is about opportunities, and what you do with the opportunities you have,” Brown said. “He got a scholarship. So happy for him.”
West Virginia (1-1) rebounded from an upset loss at Penn State with several long offensive plays that were lacking in the opener.
In 2021, Clement set a West Virginia high school record at Martinsburg High School when he scored eight touchdowns in the state title game. He never saw the field at West Virginia in 2022.
On Saturday, Clement caught his first career pass, a 14-yard TD run in the first quarter, and his 39-yard catch later in the period set up Jaylen Anderson’s 8-yard TD run.
The game was delayed for nearly two hours at the beginning of the second quarter due to storms and lightning in the area. Because of the delay, there was no half time. Only a small portion of the announced crowd of 50,037 remained for the second half.
When play resumed, Clements came off.
Green threw a 30-yarder over a defender to Clement, who raced the rest of the way for a 70-yard score. On West Virginia’s next possession, Clement was alone on the right sideline in blown coverage when Green found him for an easy 46-yard play and a 28-10 lead.
Clements finished with five catches for 177 yards, all in the first half.
“We knew he was really good,” Duquesne coach Jerry Schmidt said. “It’s hard to stay with him consistently throughout the whole game. It’s really tough. And there were actually some schemes that we had a good idea were going his way. And you still can’t.”
In his fourth career start, Green went 10 of 18 for a career-best 240 yards. Backup Nico Marchiol took over in the second half. West Virginia finished with 619 total yards, including 304 on the ground. Backup freshman Jahem White ran for 110 yards and scored, all in the second half.
West Virginia still has some coverage issues in the secondary to figure out.
In the first meeting between the two teams since 1935, Duquesne (1-1) took advantage after West Virginia’s Jacolby Spells allowed a rebound. The Dukes recovered at the West Virginia 46, and four plays later Darius Perrantes threw a 38-yard scoring pass to DJ Powell.
Powell was also wide open but fell on another long pass that was incomplete in the second quarter. On the next play, Powell made a 34-yard catch to the West Virginia 27, and set up a field goal just before a weather delay with West Virginia leading 14-10.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we started,” Brown said. “We have to be better in the secondary.”
Perrantes finished 14 of 31 for 220 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
Duquesne: The Dukes were limited to three yards after running for 234 last week against Division II Edinboro. Duquesne fell to 1-7 all-time against Bowl Subdivision opponents.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers may have found another deep threat to complement Carter. Only time will tell if Clement can come close to the same magic in the face of stiffer competition in the coming weeks. West Virginia played the first of three straight home games, which would be their best chance to build momentum in a crucial year for the Browns.
Duquesne plays at Coastal Carolina next Saturday.
West Virginia will host Pittsburgh next Saturday.
AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll