West Virginia offense shakes off second-half struggles against Pitt
• Coming into Friday's 103rd Backyard Brawl, West Virginia had just two touchdowns in the second half of Big East games. Against Pitt, the Mountaineers scored three TDs in the second half of a 35-10 victory. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith connected with slot receiver Tavon Austin for touchdown passes of 71 and 12 yards to give the Mountaineers a 28-10 lead late in the third quarter. The Mountaineers capped the scoring with a 2-yard run by fullback Ryan Clarke in the fourth.
• After posting just 75 yards of offense in the first half, West Virginia racked up 285 in the second half. "I thought our coaches did a magnificent job of how we adjusted in the second half," coach Bill Stewart said. Smith was 9 of 12 for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He has 22 touchdown passes this season, which puts him second on West Virginia's single-season list.
• Jock Sanders broke West Virginia's career receptions record on the first play of the second half with an 8-yard gain. He finished with four catches for 70 yards and now has 195 catches in his career. The senior from St. Petersburg, Fla., passed the mark set by David Saunders (191).
• West Virginia improved to 4-2 against Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt. The Mountaineers have won back-to-back games against the Panthers for the first time since 2005-06. The Panthers are 1-2 against West Virginia since Pitt's 13-9 upset in 2007 ruined the Mountaineers' shot at the BCS title.
• After Austin's two-touchdown performance, Stewart said he expects his sophomore slot receiver to stay at that position when running back Noel Devine graduates. Stewart had said he would like Austin to move back to running back.
Pitt vs. WVU The Backyard Brawl 11⁄26/10
West Virginia defeats Pitt, 35-10, in the 103rd Backyard Brawl Friday November 26, 2010 at Heinz Field.
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.