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WVU's Austin shines in 50-49 loss to Sooners

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 12:17 am •  Published: November 18, 2012

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Tavon Austin ran all over No. 13 Oklahoma on Saturday night. It just didn't feel very good when it was over.

The speedy wide receiver was inserted as a running back and responded with a school-record 344 yards rushing in West Virginia's 50-49 loss. Austin also set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards.

"It was a good thing for me," Austin said. "But I'm still worrying about the loss."

West Virginia had been held under 100 yards rushing in each of its previous three games, so coach Dana Holgorsen approached Austin in practice last week about helping out in the backfield.

"They just finally gave me the chance and I just took advantage of it," Austin said.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops called Austin's performance one of the best he's seen in the Big 12.

"He's right up there with anybody," Stoops said.

Austin broke the school rushing mark of 337 yards set by Kay-Jay Harris against East Carolina in 2004. He also topped the Big 12 all-purpose yards mark of 375 set by Hollis Mitchell of Texas in 2000 against Kansas and the school record of 356 set by Garrett Ford against Pittsburgh in 1965.

Austin wasn't the only player setting records.

Oklahoma's Landry Jones tied his own school record with six touchdown passes, including a 5-yarder to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds left for the go-ahead score. Jones finished with 554 yards passing to break his own school record.

Jones needed a terrific game to offset the performances of Austin and West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who had 13 catches for 205 yards and four TDs.

"I'm incredibly proud of the team for holding it together as they did and to come back," Stoops said. "Landry Jones, to lead those drives at the end of the game, such great precision and execution throwing strikes. (The) receivers made tough competitive catches and all of it together was really pleasing to come back and win away from home."

Heavy-underdog West Virginia (5-5, 2-5) lost its fifth straight game. After starting the season 5-0, the Mountaineers are still searching for an elusive sixth victory to become bowl-eligible.

The losing streak is the Mountaineers' worst since they lost six straight in 1986. It also was West Virginia's third loss at home this season. The last time that occurred was 2001.

Oklahoma (8-2, 6-1) also got back in the conference title picture with No. 2 Kansas State's 52-24 loss at Baylor.

"It proves in this league, you can get beat by anybody on any given day, and every team in this league has the capability of beating you if you don't come out to play," Jones said.

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