Smith keeps WVU perfect in win over Texas
College Football Videos
AUSTIN, Texas — West Virginia's biggest challenge this season required another big effort from quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith tossed four touchdown passes against the best defense he faced this year, as No. 8 West Virginia held on for a 48-45 win over No. 11 Texas on Saturday night in front of a record 101,851 fans at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Considered the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, Smith overcame two lost fumbles, including one that resulted in a Texas touchdown, to guide the Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) to their first road win in their new conference.
“A lot of things worked for us,” Smith said. “We won as a team.
“I have some great teammates and great coaches.”
With the Longhorns concentrating on stopping Smith, running back Andrew Buie carried 31 times for a career-high 207 yards. His 5-yard touchdown run gave the Mountaineers a 10-point lead with 1:18 to play.
Smith, held under 300 yards passing for the first time this season, completed 25 of 35 for 268 yards and four TDs. He has not thrown an interception.
After building a 14-point lead, West Virginia's pass defense fell apart as Texas (4-1, 1-1) took a 28-27 halftime lead.
It was the first time this year the Mountaineers trailed at the half.
West Virginia got off to a fast start, making it 7-0 on the game's opening drive when Smith passed to Stedman Bailey for an 8-yard touchdown.
Texas answered to make it 7-7, but the Mountaineers regained the lead at 14-7 on Smith's 40-yard scoring toss to Tavon Austin. Austin caught a short fourth-down pass across the middle and ran away from defenders to score untouched.
The Mountaineers extended their lead to 21-7 on Buie's 4-yard scoring run early in the second quarter.
Texas, however, scored 14 unanswered points to make 21-21. Included was a Longhorns fumble recovery in the end zone following a sack of Smith.
West Virginia appeared to be poised to strike again, but J.D. Woods dropped a slant pass before reaching the end zone. The Mountaineers settled for a 37-yard Tyler Bitancurt field goal to make it 24-21.
Running back Joe Bergeron scored his third touchdown of the game late in the first half, giving Texas a 28-24 lead.
Smith again led the Mountaineers into scoring range when another one of his receivers betrayed him.
This time, a wide-open Buie stumbled and fell on his way to the end zone. Bitancurt's 41-yard field goal on the final play of the half made it 28-27.
Texas kicker Anthony Fera, who transferred from Penn State, missed a field goal in the fourth that would have tied the score 41-41.
After scoring a late touchdown to make it 48-45 in the final seconds, Texas failed to recover an onside kick, and West Virginia was able to run out the clock.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.