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Alston, Austin snap WVU’s losing streak; Mountaineers going bowling

Tavon Austin, Gage Shaeffer AP

It took a little longer — okay, a lot longer — than West Virginia was hoping, but the Mountaineers are in fact going to a bowl game this season. It wasn’t pretty, though.

WVU was one of the hot teams in college football for the month of September. The Mountaineers were ranked fifth in the country and Geno Smith was the runaway leader in the Heisman discussion. Then the Mountaineers got blown out by Texas Tech, starting a five-game losing streak.

Part of the problem for West Virginia during that time was the defense. Giving up 42 points per game heading into Friday’s match against Iowa State was costing WVU when the offense wasn’t quite firing on all¬†cylinders. That problem was thanks in part to the absence of running back Shawne Alston, who has been hampered with a thigh bruise. But against the Cyclones today, Alston rumbled for 130 yards and a touchdown while still visibly limited with his injury.

Mountaineers receiver Tavon Austin, who rushed for over 300 yards in last week’s loss to Oklahoma, had 74 yards on the ground. Austin’s big play came on a 75-yard “pass” — a forward toss from Smith that was lethal against Clemson in last January’s Orange Bowl — to put the Mountaineers up 31-24. That would be the final score of the game.

(Austin also had a punt return for a touchdown. However, that was called back because of a hold, proving that while WVU is still struggling to stop opposing offenses, it has no problem stopping its most electric playmaker.) 

WVU is now 6-5 and finishes the season at home against Kansas. A win against the Jayhawks would likely put WVU in the Holliday Bowl against a Pac-12 opponent (Rich Rodriguez‘s Arizona Wildcats perhaps?).

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9 Responses to “Alston, Austin snap WVU’s losing streak; Mountaineers going bowling”
  1. whoisedgy says: Nov 23, 2012 7:16 PM

    The Big 12’s bowl line-up is among the many reasons WVU is better off than in the Big Least.

  2. dmcgrann says: Nov 23, 2012 8:12 PM

    Not necessarily. WVU may yet make the Pinstripe Bowl and end up playing a lower-echelon Big East team. The WVU fans I talked to over the past few days are fairly aghast at that prospect.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Nov 23, 2012 8:43 PM

    Good for WVU. I know it’s only Iowa State, but they still be my team along with the other “newcomer” in the league. Welcome to the Big 12. They’ll beat whoever the little east sends to a bowl.

  4. mrlaloosh says: Nov 23, 2012 8:50 PM

    Time to burn some sofas! Too bad the gallery bowl is defunct.

  5. snccoach says: Nov 23, 2012 9:19 PM

    Iowa St. needs to elevate their game. Too inconsistent, and with the financial commitment that was made for facility upgrades 6-6, 7-5 isn’t going to cut it anymore.

  6. sd1024 says: Nov 23, 2012 10:15 PM


    Perhaps the Pinstripe Bowl vs. Syracuse, whom beat the sh** out of them last season in front of a primetime audience.

  7. cranespy says: Nov 24, 2012 2:30 AM

    Ouch…def no home cooking on this site! “no problem stopping their most electric playmaker”. You’d think MF would throw a bone to his “Eers” up 79!??

  8. pricecube says: Nov 24, 2012 3:25 AM

    8/10 Big 12 teams are bowl eligible. I wonder if they all get an invite? If Baylor can get one more win then they will also be bowl eligible… That will be 9/10 teams or 90% of the conference bowl eligible. That is insane.

  9. raysfan1 says: Nov 24, 2012 9:53 AM

    Pricecube–Bowls are worried about not having enough eligible teams to fill all 35 games this year. Every eligible team is going to get an invite somewhere. Especially every eligible team from a BCS conference.

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