1989 West Virginia Mountaineers football team

The 1989 West Virginia Mountaineers football team represented West Virginia University in the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Mountaineers' 97th overall season and they competed as a Division I-A Independent. The team was led by head coach Don Nehlen, in his tenth year, and played their home games at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. They finished the season with a record of eight wins, three losses and one tie (8–3–1 overall), and earned a Gator Bowl berth against No. 14 Clemson, where they were defeated 27–7.

1989 West Virginia Mountaineers football
West Virginia Mountaineers logo.svg
Gator Bowl, L 7–27 vs. Clemson
ConferenceIndependent
Ranking
APNo. 21
1989 record8–3–1
Head coachDon Nehlen (10th season)
Offensive schemeOption
Home stadiumMountaineer Field
(Capacity: 63,500)
Seasons
← 1988
1990 →
1989 Division I-A independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Miami (FL)         11 1 0
No. 2 Notre Dame         12 1 0
No. 3 Florida State         10 2 0
Northern Illinois         9 2 0
No. 15 Penn State         8 3 1
No. 17 Pittsburgh         8 3 1
No. 21 West Virginia         8 3 1
Syracuse         8 4 0
Southwestern Louisiana         7 4 0
Akron         6 4 1
South Carolina         6 4 1
Virginia Tech         6 4 1
Louisiana Tech         5 4 1
Army         6 5 0
Louisville         6 5 0
East Carolina         5 5 1
Tulsa         6 6 0
Southern Miss         5 6 0
Tulane         4 8 0
Navy         3 8 0
Rutgers         2 7 2
Boston College         2 9 0
Memphis State         2 9 0
Cincinnati         1 9 1
Temple         1 10 0
Rankings from AP Poll

ScheduleEdit

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
September 2Ball State*No. 17W 35–1057,866[1]
September 9at Maryland*No. 17W 14–1045,000[1]
September 16South Carolina*No. 12W 45–2166,015[1]
September 23at Louisville*No. 9W 30–2139,132[1]
September 30No. 10 Pitt*No. 9T 31–3168,938[1]
October 7Virginia Tech*No. 9L 10–1262,563[1]
October 21Cincinnati*No. 18W 69–347,176[1]
October 28at Boston College*No. 15W 44–3032,000[1]
November 4at No. 16 Penn State*No. 13L 9–1985,911[1]
November 11Rutgers*No. 19W 21–2061,336[1]
November 24at Syracuse*No. 17W 24–1746,757[1]
December 30vs. No. 14 Clemson*No. 17L 7–2782,911[1]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Season summaryEdit

Coming off of its first ever 11-win season and with junior Major Harris returning to lead a potent offense, West Virginia entered the 1989 season ranked 17th in the AP Poll and with high expectations. The Mountaineers started the season accordingly, racing to a 4-0 record and to #9 in the AP Poll. In Week 5 against #10 Pitt, however, West Virginia fell victim to another memorable collapse in the Backyard Brawl. Trailing 31-9 in the 4th quarter, Pitt scored 22 unanswered points and kicked a game-tying field goal as time expired to force a 31-31 tie.[2] The Mountaineers would suffer another heartbreaking result the following week with a 12-10 home loss to Virginia Tech, as well as a 19-9 loss to #16 Penn State in State College. Despite those disappointing defeats, WVU finished the regular season at 8-2-1, a #17 ranking in the AP Poll, and a trip to the Gator Bowl to face #14 Clemson. The Mountaineers faltered, however, losing 27-7 and finished the season at 8-3-1 with a #21 ranking in the final AP Poll.[3]

RosterEdit

1989 West Virginia Mountaineers football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
WR Reggie Rembert Sr
WR 2 Greg Dykes Sr
QB 9 Major Harris Jr
WR 11 Wes Jackson Jr
WR 16 David Miers Sr
QB 16 Chris Gray So
QB 17 James Breitbeil So
FB 20 Craig Taylor Sr
FB 36 Aaron Evans Jr
RB 37 Jim Pastorkovich Sr
G 74 Larry Cook Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DB 14 Jay Darr Jr
DT 61 Mike Fox Sr
DE 87 Renaldo Turnbull Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt

Statistical leadersEdit

All stats are courtesy of WVUStats.com unless otherwise cited.[4]

  • Passing:
Major Harris - 142/245, 2,058 yards, 17 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
  • Rushing:
Major Harris - 155 carries, 936 yards, 6.0 average per carry, six touchdowns
Garrett Ford, Jr. - 148 carries, 733 yards, 5.0 average per carry, six touchdowns
  • Receiving:
Reggie Rembert - 47 receptions, 850 yards, 11 touchdowns
  • Interceptions:
Preston Waters - 7 interceptions

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l DeVault, Mark. "WVU 1989 Schedule". WVU Stats (West Virginia University Athletics). Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  2. ^ Antonik, John; Scuillo, Sam (December 1, 2007). "Tales from the Backyard Brawl". MSN Sportsnet (West Virginia University Athletics). Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  3. ^ DeVault, Mark. "WVU 1989 Schedule". WVU Stats (West Virginia University Athletics). Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  4. ^ DeVault, Mark. "WVU 1989 Statistics". WVU Stats (West Virginia University Athletics). Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved January 17, 2012.