The West Virginia Mountaineers blew out Clemson 70-33 in a shocking Orange Bowl performance that would have made a great statement game for the much-maligned Big East, if only WVU weren’t on its way out the door. WVU’s 70 points set an all-time record for bowl scoring. By any team.
Clemson finished the first quarter with a 17-14 lead, but WVU dropped an amazing 35 points (with six coming on a 99-yard fumble return by Darwin Cook) to put the Mountaineers up 49-20 at halftime.
Not content with a 29-point halftime lead, Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes in the first six minutes of the third quarter to put WVU up 63-20. He added yet another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Overall, Smith went 31-for-42 with 401 yards and six touchdowns in a wild performance in his hometown of Miami. Tavon Austin led the Mountaineers’ receivers with 11 catches for 117 yards and four touchdowns. And here’s a stat you don’t see every day – kicker Tyler Bitancurt had 10 points, all on PATs.
This was the sort of game that makes one wonder how WVU managed to lose to Syracuse and Louisville earlier this season. If WVU could have made it through the season losing only to LSU, and then done this in their bowl game, then they really would have made some noise. As it is, WVU fans will have to settle for an incredible performance. And a happy offseason – not only did the Mountaineers win a BCS bowl game, they’ve got many of the offensive players responsible (including Smith and Austin) coming back for another year.
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