Buie's 207 rushing yards lead West Virginia past Texas

Suzanne Halliburton, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


AUSTIN, Texas -- Even though West Virginia can boast the best quarterback in the country, it was a Mountaineer running back who devastated Texas on Saturday night.
Andrew Buie ripped the Longhorn defense, rushing 31 times for 207 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 8 West Virginia to a 48-45 win over 11th-ranked Texas in front of 101,851 fans, the largest crowd in Royal-Memorial Stadium history.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who is considered the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, threw for 265 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn't anywhere close to his performance a week ago against Baylor, when he threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. But on a cool night in Austin, all Smith needed late in the game was Buie.
On the Mountaineers' final drive, with the WVU offense trying to stretch out a three-point lead, Buie rushed for 63 yards, capping it off with a 5-yard touchdown run. That gave West Virginia a 48-38 lead with 1:18 to play.
The Longhorns scored with 15 seconds remaining on a David Ash throw to Marquise Goodwin. But the onside kick was recovered by West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), the newest members of the Big 12 Conference, took a huge early step to claim the league title. They'll come back to the state next week for a date against Texas Tech. The Longhorns (4-1, 1-1) will have to immediately regroup to play archrival Oklahoma in Dallas.
Longhorn defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said he wanted the Mountaineers to run more, thinking such plays would keep the ball out of Smith's hands and negate receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. However, Diaz just didn't anticipate the success of the running plays. Before Saturday, Buie's best game came had come last Saturday, when he rushed for 82 yards.
"The last drive was poor, of course," Diaz said.
Buie easily outclassed UT's much more publicized running attack.
"He averaged 6.7 yards per run and that's phenomenal," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We did commit to the run. That was something we talked about earlier in the week. And there weren't any tricks, either. We just lined up and ran it right at them."
Longhorn tailback Joe Bergeron scored four touchdowns, but he gained just 49 yards.
Ash, who was second in the country behind Smith in passing efficiency, was 22 of 29 for 269 yards and a touchdown. After leading Texas to a comeback victory over Oklahoma State a week ago, Ash faltered late Saturday.
The Longhorns had a chance to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter. Defensive end Alex Okafor had an incredible play, using a bull rush to push into the backfield. He then reached to swat the ball away from Smith. Texas, down 41-38, took over at the West Virginia 12.
But on a third-and-6, Ash momentarily diverted his eyes and wasn't ready for the snap. He was sacked for a 16-yard loss. Longhorn kicker Anthony Fera, a transfer from Penn State playing in his first game at UT, missed a 41-yard field goal.
"It was my fault," Ash said. "That's on me."
West Virginia then put the game away with Buie's runs. Stopping the run has become a problem for UT. Although the Longhorns beat Oklahoma State, Cowboys tailback Joseph Randle rushed for 199 yards.
The first half was offensive, as expected, but Texas was able to lean a bit on its defense to take a 28-27 lead at intermission.
The Longhorns sacked Smith three times and held him to a somewhat pedestrian stat line: 15 of 24 for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He also was sacked three times. Smith was able to regroup on West Virginia's final drive of the second quarter as he directed the Mountaineers on an eight-play drive that culminated in a 41-yard field goal by Tyler Bitancourt.
West Virginia had owned a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter, thanks to Smith's 8-yard touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey, his 40-yard scoring pass to Tavon Austin and Buie's 4-yard run. But the Longhorns quickly erased the deficit with a combination of offense, defense and special teams.
Carrington Byndom partially blocked a punt to give Texas the ball at midfield. The Longhorns, with three quick-hitting running plays, slashed the score to 21-14 on Joe Bergeron's second 2-yard TD run of the half.
On West Virginia's next possession, Texas defensive end Alex Okafor sacked Smith and stripped him of the ball inside the 10-yard line. It was recovered by fellow end Jackson Jeffcoat for the touchdown.
Texas took its first lead with 1:14 remaining in the half when Bergeron scored his third touchdown, from a yard out.
NOTES: Coming into the game, West Virginia had failed to convert on four fourth-down attempts. The Mountaineers were 5 for 5 against Texas. ... Bailey had three touchdowns, giving him 13 for the season and 29 for his career, a school record. ... The Longhorns had two blocked kicks -- one punt and a field goal -- giving them five for the season. ... UT sacked Smith three times. In West Virginia's previous four games, Smith had been sacked four times. ... Okafor forced two Smith fumbles and also blocked a field goal.