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West Virginia fans set fires, tried to flip cars and neglected police outside campus in celebration of the Mountaineers' 48-45 win over Texas on Saturday night, but Coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday he encourages "everyone involved to get used to wins like that."
"I don't understand what was so special about it if they were using that as some sort of excuse to get rowdy," he said.
"Does it count as a championship? No. It counts as one win. It counts as a win the same as Baylor did, which counted as a win the same as Marshall did, minus the conference standing," he said. "Our goal is to win the conference. We're 2-0, but the two wins are equal. There's no difference in the Texas win and the Baylor win."
The second-year head coach said the win was a big moment for the program, but it shouldn't have caused chaos.
Holgorsen said he wasn't aware of the riots until Monday. When questioned on the riots, Holgorsen answered, "Even if I did know about it, what am I going to do about it? ... I worry about what I can control and what I can control is what happened in Austin."
At 2-0 in Big 12 play, West Virginia is tied for the conference lead.
There were many reasons the West Virginia Mountaineers football program bolted to the Big 12 Conference as soon as it could. One of the biggest was recruiting, and after Saturday's impressive 48-45 victory on the road against the No. 15-ranked Texas Longhorns the Mountaineers may see a boost in interest from recruits, especially from those in the state of Texas, believes SB Nation's Bud Elliott:
The Mountaineers were already experiencing some bump in Texas recruiting (five commitments in 2012) simply by joining the Big XII and hiring a coach with Texas ties in Dana Holgorsen. But to go to Austin and beat the Longhorns while running an offense that many high schools in the state employ is huge. Texas recruits are going to give West Virginia a much longer look than they would have previously.
Already, the No. 5-ranked Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) have eight players on their roster from the state of Texas – six freshmen and two sophomores. Next week, West Virginia has a chance to go 2-0 in the state when they visit the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a national televised contest on ABC or ESPN.
WVU's high-scoring games haven't been the only ones so far this year in the Big 12.
Another impressive performance by the West Virginia Mountaineers offense helped two Mountaineers players, running back Andrew Buie and returner/wide receiver Tavon Austin, earn Big 12 Conference weekly honors Monday. Buie was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week while Austin was the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Both players were key in the No. 5 Mountaineers' 48-45 victory over No. 15 Texas Longhorns on Saturday. Buie, a sophomore, ran for a career-best 207 yards on 31 carriers with two touchdowns. Buie's last score helped WVU take a 48-38 lead with 1:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. Buie also chipped in 66 receiving yards.
Austin had a kick return average of 37.0 yards. The senior had a season-long return of 67 yards and ran back a 44-yarder on the opening kickoff that setup WVU's first touchdown. Austin also added 10 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown. This was Austin's second Special Team Player of the Week honor.
The West Virginia Mountaineers moved up this week after beating the Texas Longhorns on the road.
Here's the full AP college football poll for Week 7. We had known that WVU would be No. 5 after its win over Texas. Now, though, we know the rest. South Carolina moves up to No. 3 and Florida No. 4, as expected, after knocking off Georgia and LSU, respectively. Meanwhile, three top-five teams last week -- LSU and Georgia, plus Florida State -- all lost, and tumbled down the rankings as a result.
WVU ranks tops among Big 12 schools, with Kansas State (No. 6), Oklahoma (No.13), and Texas (No. 15) also in the rankings. TCU drops out of the rankings after its loss to Iowa State.
1 Alabama (60) 5-0
2. Oregon 6-0
3. South Carolina 6-0
4. Florida 5-0
5. West Virginia 5-0
6. Kansas State 5-0
7. Notre Dame 5-0
8. Ohio State 6-0
9. LSU 5-1
10. Oregon State 4-0
11. USC 4-1
12. Florida State 5-1
13. Oklahoma 3-1
14. Georgia 5-1
15. Texas 4-1
16. Clemson 5-1
17. Stanford 4-1
18. Louisville 5-0
19. Mississippi State 5-0
20. Rutgers 5-0
21. Cincinnati 4-0
22. Texas A&M 4-1
23. Louisiana Tech 5-0
24. Boise State 4-1
25. Michigan 3-2
The Week 7 AP college football rankings are currently being released, and West Virginia is up to No. 5 after its victory over Texas.
3. South Carolina
5. West Virginia
Kansas State had an easy victory this week and was in front of WVU last week, and West Virginia's win over Texas was a close one, so I figured the Wildcats would stay ahead of the Mountaineers. That WVU entered the top five will be cause for even more excitement in Morgantown. West Virginia and Kansas State play one another October 20 in what figures to be a huge matchup, assuming they're each able to beat unranked opponents next week.
There was, as anticipated, plenty of movement in the rankings this week, as No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 LSU and No. 5 Georgia all lost. All three teams now find themselves outside the top five.
The rest of the top 25 has yet to be released, as of 11:43 Sunday morning. Kansas State will presumably be No. 6.
UPDATE 11:54 a.m.: Here are the full rankings.
The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Texas Longhorns, 48-45, Saturday at Texas Memorial Stadium. The victory came in West Virginia-like fashion as the No. 8-ranked Mountaineers compiled 460 total yards and used four touchdown passes from quarterback Geno Smith to seemingly run-up-and-down the No. 11 Longhorns and win their first ever Big 12 Conference road game.
According to the SB Nation blog The Smoking Musket, the win for WVU was an important one.
This was a huge road win that will go a long way towards national respect, especially with a few specific detractors. This was a very talented defense from Texas, especially up front. The sacks allowed were nothing to be ashamed of. The WVU offense answered the call and honestly, so did the defense (at lease compared to last week). This was a win to remember.
Although the win will help the Heisman Trophy chances of Smith, the hero of the evening was sophomore tailback Andrew Buie, who compiled 207 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Buie also had 66 yards receiving.
Next up for the 5-0 Mountaineers is another Big 12 road game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and will be shown on either ABC or ESPN.
Geno Smith and West Virginia were impressive in yet another eventful win Saturday as they picked up a road victory against No. 11 Texas, 48-45. But the Mountaineers will have more than that going for them when this week's college football rankings are released.
WVU was ranked No. 8 in last week's AP poll. No. 3 Florida State lost to NC State, No. 4 LSU lost to No. 10 Florida, and No. 5 Georgia was blown out by No. 6 South Carolina. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon aren't going anywhere, and No. 7 Kansas State won't lose any ground after wiping the floor with Kansas, but the Mountaineers will probably move up two spots, assuming that Florida gets a big reward in the rankings. The first few spots in the rankings might look something like this:
3. South Carolina
5. Kansas State
6. West Virginia
8. Notre Dame
That's just a guess. I'd expect WVU to be at No. 6 when this week's rankings are released. Assuming nothing changes next week, when the Mountaineers play Texas Tech and Kansas State takes on Iowa State, WVU's October 20 home matchup against Kansas State is shaping up to be an even bigger game than the Texas matchup was. If you're a Mountaineers fan, it looks like it's time to really start getting excited.
The Mountaineers would race to a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter after quarterback Geno Smith and the WVU offense took advantage of several short fields and a porous Texas defense. The Longhorns would respond with 21 points in the second quarter, led by a defensive score and another balanced offensive attack to take a 28-27 lead into the halftime break.
The vaunted West Virginia offense would prove too much, with Smith leading two long touchdown drives in the second half. Texas would have a prime chance to tie the game or take the lead late in the fourth quarter, when Smith's second fumble of the game gave Texas field position deep in Mountaineers territory.The Longhorns would fail to score, however, when Anthony Fera's 41-yard field goal attempt missed wide.
West Virginia would score on the ensuing drive, killing four minutes of the clock and giving Texas just 1:15 to work with. Longhorns quarterback David Ash was 5-of-6 leading the offense down the field, hitting Marquise Goodwin with just 15 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Mountaineers would recover the ensuing onside kick.
Box Score Hero: Heisman favorite Geno Smith may get the attention, but running back Andrew Buie had 273 total yards of offense and two touchdowns, with 208 yards coming on the ground.
Rankings Ramifications: West Virginia will likely get a boost of a few spots thanks to the big win on the road, while Texas will likely fall four or five spots following the loss.
But Did They Cover? The Longhorns failed to cover, although the game was well over the 52-1/2 point line.
For More On This Game: For more on Horns football, visit Texas blogs Burnt Orange Nation and Barking Carnival, plusSB Nation Dallas. For more on WVU football, visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh.
Next Week's Schedule: The Texas Longhorns travel to Dallas for the Red River Shootout against Oklahoma, with kickoff set for 12 p.m. ET. West Virginia will be in Lubbock, facing Texas Tech on Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
This story originally appeared at SB Nation.
Geno Smith has been brilliant throughout most of the evening, but almost had a costly fumble moments ago at his own 12-yard line. However, Texas couldn't take advantage when Anthony Fera missed a potential game-tying field goal.
In a see-saw affair, both teams have been virtually unstoppable on offense. The two teams have combined for over 700 total yards. Smith has put on another show in his quest for a Heisman Trophy, throwing for 256 yards and four touchdowns on 24-of-34 passing. Andrew Buie has also been incredible for the Mountaineers, picking up 162 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.
The Longhorns have also had their fair share of playmakers. Running back Joe Bergeron has been having the game of his life against West Virginia, scoring four touchdowns on the ground to accompany his 45 yards rushing.
The first half of play in WVU's Big 12 test against the Texas Longhorns didn't have nearly the wide-open feel that last week's Mountaineers win over Baylor. In particular, Geno Smith hasn't had nearly the easy time against Texas' defense, which has sacked him four times. But there has still been plenty of wild scoring, and at the half, the Longhorns lead, 28-27
WVU had a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, a quarter in which the Mountaineers seemed to be trying to establish the run game, despite the absence of Shawne Alston. They drove downfield at the start of the second quarter and did, in fact, get their run game going, as a couple of big runs by scatback Andrew Buie led to a four-yard Buie touchdown and a 21-7 lead. (By the end of the half, Buie had 103 yards rushing.) The Mountaineers also showed a bit of gamble by going for it -- and succeeding -- on 4th-and-9 at the Longhorns' 30-yard line.
After the touchdown, a fumble by Marquise Goodwin gave the Mountaineers the ball, but a sack proved costly as WVU was forced to punt. A 49-yard run by Jonathan Gray on the Longhorns' next play set up a quick Texas touchdown. Then, three plays into WVU's next drive, Alex Okafor sacked Smith yet again, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jackson Jeffcoat for a game-tying touchdown.
West Virginia moved downfield in its next drive, thanks in part to a personal foul call on Ashton Dorsey. Desmond Jackson sacked Smith on third down at the Texas 19, though, and the Mountaineers were forced to settle for a Tyler Bitancurt field goal, giving WVU a 24-21 lead.
The Longhorns got the ball back with about five minutes remaining, though, and they weren't through. David Ash and the Texas offense cruised effortlessly downfield, with Ash completing 26-yard and 24-yard passes to wide-open receivers. The drive ended with a one-yard touchdown by Joe Bergeron, and Texas took a 28-24 lead.
That gave WVU the ball back with 1:14 to go, and guess what? They weren't done, either. Smith moved the ball effectively downfield, at one point hitting a wide-open Buie in the open field for what would have been an easy touchdown if Buie hadn't tripped. With nine seconds left on the clock, though, and the ball at the Texas 14, Dana Holgorsen for some reason decided to go for a run play, and the Mountaineers were called for a holding penalty. With no other choice left, they called in Bitancurt, who hit a 41-yard field goal to cut the Longhorns' advantage to a one-point lead that essentially means nothing at this point. At the half, it's anyone's game, and Texas leads 28-27.
West Virginia struck first in the game, scoring on a Geno Smith to Stedman Bailey 8-yard touchdown pass. The score was the result of a five play, 54 yard drive to start the game that took just over two minutes. Smith, a Heisman Trophy candidate, was six for eight in the first quarter for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
West Virginia's second touchdown came on a Tavon Austin 40-yard catch-and-run, on a drive that saw the Mountaineers convert on two fourth downs. Austin has three ctaches for 55 yards after one quarter.
The Longhorns blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt by West Virginia kicker Tyler Bitancurt midway through the quarter.
The No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers have looked nearly unbeatable in their first four games behind quarterback Geno Smith and his weapons, primarily Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. The No. 11 Texas Longhorns, their new Big 12 conference opponents, are trying to find some way, ANY way, of slowing down Smith, head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Moutaineers' patented Air Raid offense.
Longhorns blog Barking Carnival has some ideas on how to do this. So does SB Nation's college football guru, Bill Connelly, and the two agree on one main principle: Texas must rush four defenders to the quarterback a substantial majority of the time. Here's Barking Carnival's Scipio Tex's case for rushing a quadrifecta of defenders:
As with Goldilocks, four is just right. Bring four - in whatever permutation - and you prevent an immediate automatic read made from muscle memory because you can challenge the shallow routes that are WVU's sustaining force without losing help over the top. Bring four because eventually, fairly good pass rushers will get there. Bring four because it marries well with what we should be running for 75% of our snaps.
Other keys highlighted by the two are sound tackling — something Maryland excelled at while holding the Mountaineers to 31 points a few weeks back — a strong rushing game on both sides of the ball and the need for the Longhorns put up plenty of points on their own. If they can't do that, well, the Longhorns have to hope they get really lucky.
The West Virginia Mountaineers hit the road for their second game in the Big 12, and they'll face another team ranked in the top 10 in Texas.
Shawne Alston, one of West Virginia's key weapons out of the backfield, will not play for the third straight game -- the Mountaineers' road debut in the Big 12 against Texas.
The No. 8-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers visit the No. 11-ranked Texas Longhorns Saturday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, and the biggest question coming into the Big 12 Conference showdown is: Can the Longhorns defense stop the Mountaineer's offense?
The task seems almost impossible after WVU's impressive 70-63 victory over the Baylor Bears last Saturday. But as SB Nation's Bill Connelly pointed out Thursday it can be done, Texas just needs to look at the game film of the Moutaineers' 31-21 victory over the Maryland Terrapins, Sept. 22.
Against Maryland on September 22, however, the Mountaineers scored just 31 points, gained 363 yards, and averaged 5.3 yards per play. Granted, WVU still won by 10 points (the Maryland offense is, after all, still the Maryland offense), but the Terps made life much more difficult for head coach Dana Holgorsen and quarterback Geno Smith than their counterparts from Morgantown, Harrisonburg, or Waco.
So, how did a program that is 2-2 overall slow down one of the best offensive in the nation? Connelly lists four things the Terps' did very well: 1) Forced WVU to not use its entire playbook; 2) used an effective four-man pass rush; 3) tackled really well; and 4) stopped the run.
In the end, says Connelly, the Longhorns can do all of this and have a solid shot of winning Saturday.
At home, Texas will still have an excellent chance of coming away with a victory. But the offense will have to keep up. Against a full WVU playbook and an absurdly accurate Geno Smith, it is almost a guarantee that any team this side of Tuscaloosa will have to score at least 40 points to beat West Virginia. But the WVU defense is iffy enough that this might just happen.
Kick off for Saturday's game is set for 7 p.m. ET and it will be broadcasted on FOX.
The West Virginia Mountaineers have played in front of a crowd of about 96,445 fans. On Saturday, that record is likely to be broken. Darrel K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 100,119. Head coach Dana Holgorsen has coached there before as an assistant for the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In an interview with Mike Casazza of The Charleston Daily Mail, Holgorsen talked about keeping things in perspective:
"I'll be able to lay it out for them a little bit, but one thing that's so cool about being at WVU is these kids don't care much about that, to be honest with you," Holgorsen said. "They've played in BCS games. They've played in specific venues over the course of the last few years, like LSU and Auburn, that were big venues and big games.
The largest crowd to see the Mountaineers prior to this game was at Penn State's Beaver Stadium in 1991. Seniors and juniors played in front of 92,575 fans at LSU's Tiger Stadium in 2010. The year prior they played in front of 87,451 fans at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Grantland has a fascinating article on WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers' move to the Big 12. WVU's 70-63 win against Baylor has, understandably, become a major story throughout college football -- the West Virginia and Baylor offenses were as impressive as their defenses were weak, and one wonders if this is where college football is headed.
I am not unaware of Alabama and LSU, but is it time to concede, given Baylor-WVU — and given Georgia's 51-44 win over Tennessee a few hours later, in what I believe still counts as a Southeast Conference game — that these sorts of impenetrable defenses are the exception rather than the rule in college football? What if wide-open offense is not some measure of college football's inferiority, but simply part of the inherent evolution of the game, given both decades of rules changes and the ongoing concussion crisis? What if offenses like Holgorsen's serve as a pathway to mitigate the violence of football without rendering the sport obsolete? And, if we put aside the preconceptions we grew up with in the era of Woody and Bo and Bear, how is 70-63 somehow inherently less valuable than [a score of] 6-3?
These are great questions, and WVU's first season in the Big 12 will provide fascinating clues to help us answer them. The Mountaineers have a huge test this week against Texas (7:00 on Saturday, FOX). The Longhorns are a better team than Baylor, but they're not immune to giving up tons of points themselves -- their last two matchups were a 66-31 win over Ole Miss and a 41-36 squeaker against Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers will surely have their hands full against David Ash and the Texas offense. Can they score enough to keep pace? And will Holgorsen and Geno Smith's high-powered offense continue to work wonders against Texas, as well as in upcoming matchups against Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma? Time will tell.
Was West Virginia's 70-point outing in its first Big 12 game a fluke? Texas coach Mack Brown praised Geno Smith's performance thus far in the season, saying he hasn't seen many teams as strong offensively as the Mountaineers.
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