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West Virginia offense shakes off second-half struggles against Pitt

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By Tony Dobies
Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010

• 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.

Photo Galleries

Pitt vs. WVU The Backyard Brawl 1 126/10

Pitt vs. WVU  The Backyard Brawl  1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub>6/10

West Virginia defeats Pitt, 35-10, in the 103rd Backyard Brawl Friday November 26, 2010 at Heinz Field.

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