Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Another wild West Virginia win

AUSTIN, Texas — Geno Smith passed for four touchdowns, leading No. 8 West Virginia to another Big 12 shootout win, this time 48-45 over No. 11 Texas on Saturday.

Smith, who has 24 touchdown passes this season without an interception, hit Stedman Bailey with a 6-yard score with 10:50 left to put the Mountaineers up 41-38. Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns, the second giving the Mountaineers a 10-point lead late.

West Virginia didn't seal it until recovering an onside kick with 14 seconds left after Texas, playing in front of a stadium-record 101,851, scored a touchdown on an 8-yard pass from David Ash to Marquise Goodwin.

Ash, the No. 2-rated passer in Division I-A behind Smith coming into the game, was 22-of-29 for 269 yards and one touchdown.

Joe Bergeron scored on runs of 2, 2, 1 and 4 yards, for Texas, which is 2-7 at home Big 12 games since 2010. His last score gave Texas a 38-34 lead with 29 seconds left in the third.

Smith was 25-of-35 for 268 yards in a game in which he had to be sharp. Texas' aggressive defense hit him early and often. It forced a second-quarter fumble that the Longhorns recovered for a touchdown.

But just as he did when West Virginia beat Baylor 70-63 a week earlier, Smith made all the big throws when needed in a game where every possession was critical. West Virginia even went 5-for-5 on fourth downs.

Buie was just as important to West Virginia's ability to carve up Texas' defense. He averaged 6.7 yards against a Texas defense that continues to struggle with tackling.

The fumble recovery for a touchdown sparked a first-half rally that brought Texas back from a 21-7 deficit to a 28-27 halftime lead. The Longhorns forced another fumble by Smith in the fourth.

But Texas couldn't capitalize when an errant snap sailed past Ash, leading to a 16-yard loss before Anthony Fera missed a 41-yard field goal that would have tied the score at 41.

Fera, who transferred from Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, missed the first four games with a groin injury.

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