Turnovers Hurt the Mountaineers Most in Loss - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Turnovers Hurt the Mountaineers Most in Loss

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West Virginia dominated LSU in nearly every statistical category, except for the most important one, points scored.

West Virginia out gained LSU 533 yards to 366 yards. WVU recorded 28 first downs to LSU's 19.

LSU capitalized on four West Virginia turnovers to beat WVU 47-21. These turnovers were ones that will eat the players alive as they try to get over the loss.

"I learned that we are going to fight no matter what," Quarterback Geno Smith said. "We got down early and we came out in the second half and fought to the very end. Also, if we don't shoot ourselves in the foot, we can pretty much play with anybody."

"We definitely could have won the game," Outside Receiver Tavon Austin said. "I mean, four turnovers, they had zero turnovers. If we don't turn the ball over, then it is a different ball game."

The first WVU turnover came just under five minutes into the game. Geno Smith completed a pass to Brad Starks who had it ripped out of his hands following the catch.

The very next WVU possession, Geno Smith's pass went off of Tavon Austin's helmet and hung in the air for a long time before becoming an easy interception.

"It was a play where I felt I could get it out quick to Tavon," Smith said. "Number 7 made a great play. It was really nothing more than that."

"This came down to turnovers and stopping myself," Austin said. "It bounced off my helmet and was an interception. If you limit those, it's a different ball game."

Perhaps the most costly turnover was the one that occurred right before the half. Geno Smith was looking to find Tavon Austin when Tyrann Mathieu jumped the route and returned it all the way to the West Virginia one-yard line. Two plays later LSU added another touchdown.

"They gave us our best shot," Offensive Lineman Don Barclay said. "We killed ourselves. We turned the ball over more than they did. We can move the ball against anyone, that's the way we feel."

Geno Smith easily had the best passing attack against the Tigers. He passed for a school record 463 yards. Tavon Austin caught 11 passes for 187 yards. Those crooked numbers did not do enough to overcome the turnovers.

"There are no moral victories in losing," Smith said. "A loss is a loss no matter how many numbers I put up. I would rather put up zero yards and won the game, so there is no such thing as a moral victory."

The game against No. 2 LSU allowed No. 16 West Virginia to see just how far it has come and how far it has yet to go to be considered one of the best in the country.

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