No. 8 West Virginia outlasts Maryland 31-21

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm •  Published: September 22, 2012
Advertisement
;

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's Tavon Austin just can't get enough of Maryland.

Austin caught three touchdown passes in another remarkable game against his home-state Terrapins and No. 8 West Virginia outlasted Maryland 31-21 on Saturday.

A Baltimore native, Austin accounted for half of West Virginia's offense, catching 13 passes for 179 yards and setting a school record for career receptions.

"It was my last time playing Maryland," said Austin, a senior. "So there was a little bit on the line for me."

It's a good thing for the Mountaineers he felt that way.

Despite scoring two early touchdowns, West Virginia (3-0) looked flat at times, after averaging 56 points and 612 yards in its first two games against non-BCS conference opponents.

The Mountaineers punted on four of their first five possessions of the second half but wouldn't let Maryland (2-2) cut into a double-digit lead in beating the Terrapins for the seventh straight time.

"We didn't play our best offensively," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. "But it was enough."

Leading rusher Shawne Alston was limited by a thigh bruise and didn't get a carry. West Virginia was held to 25 yards on the ground.

Geno Smith often threw into tough coverage and had as many incompletions in the first half (nine) as he did in the first two games combined. He spent a lot of time getting knocked on his backside and finished 30 of 43 for 338 yards.

"I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be," Smith said. "That's a credit to Maryland. They did a great job of mixing things up and giving us different looks."

Smith found a groove just before halftime, throwing for 64 yards on a drive capped by a 24-yard pass to Austin alone in the end zone for a 24-14 lead.

Maryland freshman Perry Hills threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, two to freshman Stefon Diggs.

Hills had some success moving the Maryland offense with misdirection plays and screen passes. Maryland had more yards at halftime (212) than it did all of last week in a home loss to Connecticut.

But Hills was sacked five times and had little luck in the second half. With Maryland facing fourth-and-21 from its 32 with four minutes left in the game, Hills was intercepted by Wes Tonkery at the West Virginia 28 and the Mountaineers ran out the clock.



Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Report: Florida State WR Jesus Wilson arrested, suspended for stealing motor scooter
  2. 2
    Listen to Britney Spears sing without Auto-Tune
  3. 3
    'Walking Dead' shut out of major Emmy categories
  4. 4
    Little Boy's Heartwarming Back-To-School Video Goes Viral
  5. 5
    Ellen DeGeneres Ready for 'Next Phase' of Her Career
+ show more