Jeff Hostetler, unable to play the last two games because of a toe injury, threw touchdown passes of 54 and 43 yards to Rich Hollins in the second half and Willie Drewrey returned a punt 75 yards for another score tonight as No. 19 West Virginia defeated Rutgers, 44-17.
With scouts from five bowls, including the Gator and Sun, attending the game at Giants Stadium, Drewrey put the Mountaineers (8-2) ahead, 7-0, with his first-quarter run. Hostetler, who passed for just 25 yards in the first half, threw to Hollins for a 54-yard scoring play 2:47 into the second half. Forty-five seconds later, Ron Wolfley scored from the five following linebacker Darryl Talley's interception that put the ball at the 10 of Rutgers (5-5). That made it 27-10.
Paul Woodside of Falls Church, Va., who kicked first-half field goals of 26 and 20 yards, completed a 17-point third period with a 24-yard field goal following Drewrey's 39-yard punt return to the Rutgers 10. Woodside's first two field goals followed Vernon Williams' fumble at the Rutgers 14 and an interception by Dave Preston that put the ball on Rutgers' 31.
Hostetler passed to Hollins for the 43-yard touchdown with 9:18 left in the game. Kevin White, whose nose was broken during practice Monday, took over for Hostetler and completed a 38-yard pass to Rob Bennett to set up a two-yard scoring run by Mickey Walczak and complete a 31-point second half.
Hostetler completed seven of 17 passes for 130 yards.