- On a Saturday filled with great college football games, West Virginia and Texas might have topped them all. On this night, the West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Texas Longhorns by a final score of 48-45.
The Mountaineers are now 2-0 in their first season in the Big 12.
"I'm proud of the guys," said head coach Dana Holgorsen. "I'm proud of the way they fought on all three sides of the ball. This is a tremendous team victory"
The first half of the game ended in a one-point differential. West Virginia was stopped on multiple drives and forced to take field goals. Tyler Bitancurt's first attempt was blocked, but managed to make the rest of this kicks throughout the night.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen seemed to lose faith in his kicker in this game. The Mountaineers attempted five fourth-downs, converting on all five of them.
Despite an intriguing game from the first minute to the very last, the fourth quarter held all the drama.
With 8:09 remaining in the game, Pat Miller made a play that could have changed the game. On a fourth down and 13-yards to go, Ash threw the ball downfield to Mike Davis who was running a curl route. Miller jumped up in the air, matching the receiver, and knocked the ball straight down to the ground giving WVU the ball back at a crucial time.
However, on the second play of the next drive, Geno Smith suffered his second fumble of the game. This gave Texas the ball at the 12-yard line. On third down and six, it was Pat Miller again. An early snap slipped past Ash and Miller met him in the backfield for a 16-yard sack.
The Longhorns kicker then walked onto the field to attempt a 41-yard kick. Kicking from the right hash, the ball sailed dead straight through the air, going wide right of the goal posts.
The next drive for West Virginia would not see any mistakes. Andrew Buie took command of the offense and practically ran for every yard on the drive, capping it off with a five-yard touchdown run.
This game the Mountaineers a 10 point lead with 1:18 remaining in the game.
David Ash and company did march down the field to score on an eight-yard pass to Marqui Goodwin with 15 seconds remaining.
An attempted onside kick by Texas was then recovered by WVU, sealing the game.
Geno Smith continued to play at a Heisman level, but again it wasn't perfect. The quarterback even got a little feisty with the Longhorns in the second half when both teams offenses were striking. By the end of the game, Smith's night consisted of 25-for-35 passing with 268 yards and four touchdowns.
His receivers continued to make plays for him. Despite various drops throughout the night by several players, the receiving corps came up big when needed.
Tavon Austin was targeted the most by Smith. The senior receiver brought in ten catches for 102 yards. Stedman Bailey was a touchdown machine in Texas, as three of his eight receptions were for touchdowns. His total yards reached 75 by the end of the game.
Longhorns head coach, Mack Brown, put it very simply when talking about one of the WVU receivers. "Tavon Austin is one of the best football players I've ever seen," Brown said.
Andrew Buie stole the show in Austin. West Virginia never showed a lack of trust in their sophomore running back, giving him the ball 31 times. He racked up 207 yards on the ground, not to mention 66 yards receiving.
"The offensive line did everything for me, they did all the hard work," said Buie. "Opening up the creases and all I had to do was just run and just trust it."
The defense caused one turnover in the game, early in the first half. It came on a fumble caused by freshman Karl Joseph. Pat Miller and Isaiah Bruce both played very well for the Mountaineers in this game.
The Mountaineers lost the turnover battle in this game. Coming into the game, Texas was 18-0 since 2009 when winning that fight.
This is also the first time WVU has beaten an AP Top 15 ranked team on the road since the 1993 team did it at Boston College.
"I feel better about our team because they came in and they overcame a bunch of adversity and they won in a hostile environment on the road," said Holgorsen. "That's something for me to be excited about."
The Mountaineers will head back to Texas in just one week to play the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The game is slated to begin at 3:30.