MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Backup running back Justin Crawford rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown filling in for the injured Rushel Shell, and Skyler Howard overcame a first-half injury to lead West Virginia to a 26-11 win over Missouri on Saturday.
West Virginia’s Mike Molina kicked four field goals in place of the suspended Josh Lambert.
In the debut for Missouri coach Barry Odom, the Tigers lost an opener for the first time since 2001, which was the first season under previous coach Gary Pinkel. The Tigers struggled most of the game under sophomore quarterback Drew Lock, who threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Chris Black with under two minutes left.
Howard was hurt when he was tackled while sliding during a run near halftime. Trainers worked on his ribs before the second-half kickoff and he returned to the game.
Howard finished 23 of 35 for 253 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Crawford, a junior college transfer, got most of the carries after Shell walked off the field gingerly early in the third quarter and didn’t return. His injury wasn’t immediately disclosed. Crawford had a 1-yard scoring run in the third quarter. Shell finished with 90 yards, including a 23-yard TD in the first quarter.
CLICK AUDIO PLAYER ABOVE to HEAR HOWARD RICHARDS on SPORTS SUNDAY w/ Brendan Wiese