Just when you thought you were going to see the Geno Smith show, along came sophomore Andrew Buie.
Mad scientist (and also coach) Dana Holgorsen definitely saw something in the way Oklahoma State ran the ball against Texas and he turned Buie loose on the Longhorns.
No one was talking about Buie before the game, but when it was over he had torched Texas for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including a key one that put WVU up by 10 with less than two minutes to play.
I’m still not used to the way the Big 12 plays defense, but the bigger surprise is Texas. The Longhorns were supposed to have the best unit in the Big 12, and many even considered them top 10 nationally.
They did make some plays, including causing two Smith fumbles, when the Longhorns needed to make a play in the final six minutes WVU converted every time.
But West Virginia’s offense had a balanced attack that Texas couldn’t handle.
Still, WVU didn’t close out the win until the Mountaineers recovered an onside kick with 15 seconds left. A bad snap on a third-down play may be the saving grace for WVU as it made a tying field-goal attempt tougher and Anthony Fera pushed it wide right.
Smith didn’t have the video game-like statistics this week, but he didn’t hurt his Heisman chances. The senior finished with 268 yards passing and four touchdowns, and he now has 24 TD passes without an interception.
Now the Mountaineers need to avoid a major letdown next week when they fly to Texas again to take on Texas Tech, which actually has a tough defense. Of course, the Red Raiders gave up 41 to Oklahoma on Saturday.
What the win against Texas showed us is that WVU is a legitimate Big 12 contender. Any road conference win is a good win, but it’s even sweeter coming at a place like Austin.
Reports this week talked about how West Virginia fans flocked to Texas for the game and represented the state well. There’s no question the team did the same.
Texas has a solid D line and secondary. Unfortunately, they have no linebackers. They lost all their veterans after last year. And since they usually run with only 2 true LBs, those two have to be damn good. These this year have not been good.
Not to be lost in this is a solid performance by David Ash. Without a bad snap late in the game, this article could have been about his rise.