The NFL holds its the 54th edition of the Super Bowl on Sunday in Miami. Here is a look at the Mountain State’s top performance’s on football’s biggest stage.
4. Randy Moss (Super Bowl XLII, New England Patriots; Marshall)
The Voice of West Virginia is WVU-centric, but a Marshall player gets this spot on our list. The 2007 Patriots had the best regular season in NFL history and Moss had one of the best season’s ever by a wide receiver. Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdown catches in 2007. Moss had by far the best season of his career in 2007, tallying career highs with 98 catches for 1,493 yards.
But like his team, the Rand native did not have his best performance in Glendale, Ariz., on Super Bowl Sunday. The N.Y. Giants turned the 18-0 Patriots into the 18-1 Patriots by shocking New England, 17-14. Moss finished with five catches for 62 yards. He did catch a touchdown in the loss.
3. Fulton Walker (Super Bowl XVI, Miami Dolphins; WVU)
Walker was a defensive back but he’s best remembered for his Super Bowl highlights on special teams for the Dolphins.
Walker returned a second-quarter kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the Dolphins 27-17 loss to the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVI. Walker’s return was the first kick return touchdown in Super Bowl history.
The Martinsburg native had 190 yards on four kickoff returns in his pair of Super Bowl appearances for the Dolphins (both defeats).
Walker is the only former WVU player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl.
2. Jeff Hostetler (Super Bowl XXV, N.Y. Giants; WVU)
When the 1990 season started, the idea that Hostetler would be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as the winning Super Bowl starting quarterback would’ve seemed preposterous. Hostetler started the 1990 season the same way he had started his previous six NFL seasons – backing up Giants starter Phil Simms.
Even after replacing an injured Simms midway through the 1990 season and starting throughout the playoffs, Hostelter becoming the only WVU starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl was a long shot. Hostetler and the Giants were significant underdogs to the high-powered Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV.
Hostetler turned in an efficient effort, going 20-for-32 for 222 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions. The former Mountaineer’s mistake-free output, added with a strong ground attack led by Giants running back Otis Anderson (102 yards), a brilliant defensive game plan designed by Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick and a potential game-winning field goal attempt that went just wide right of the upright by Bills kicker Scott Norwood resulted in a second Super Bowl ring for Hostetler and his first as a starter.
- Chuck Howley (Super Bowl V, Dallas Cowboys; WVU)
Howley played 16 seasons in the NFL, but he’s best known for his performance in a game he lost.
The former WVU linebacker is the only player in Super Bowl history to earn Most Valuable Player honors as a member of the losing team. Howley took the award despite the Cowboys losing to the Baltimore Colts, 16-13, in Super Bowl V. Howley also was the first non-quarterback tabbed as Super Bowl MVP.
Howley accounted for three takeaways in the game, intercepting a pair of passes and recovering a fumble.
Unfortunately for the Wheeling native and his Cowboys, that effort ended in futility when the Colts Jim O’Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal, breaking a 13-all tie to give the Colts their first Super Bowl title.