The Times West Virginian

Breaking News

Sports

October 7, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU’s Buie steps up big against Texas

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University may house the Heisman Trophy winner this year, but don’t be so fast giving it to Geno Smith, not with Andrew Buie around.

Andrew Buie? A running back, on the West Virginia team? A guy who wasn’t even the starting running back when the season began.

Yes, sir. That Andrew Buie.

Oh, Smith did his usual thing on Saturday night as West Virginia defeated Texas, 48-45 … 25 for 35 passing, 265 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to Stedman Bailey and one to Tavon Austin, either of whom would be a Heisman contender themselves with their play were they on another team.

But if the suggestion that Buie could win the Heisman was tongue-in-cheek, he at least claimed this night’s Heisman, just as a year ago Dustin Garrison came out of nowhere to gain 295 rushing yards in a game.

But that was against Bowling Green at home. This was against Texas, one of the nation’s legendary programs with a record crowd of 101,851 on hand in a spectacular ball game, and he gained 208 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns.

“First of all, the line did a phenomenal job up front. My fullbacks did a great job in front of me,” Buie would say later in the locker room.

He was as modest as he was good, unwilling to say that he was the key player in this game, coach Dana Holgorsen having decided early in the week that he would run the ball this week against a Texas defense that sells out to rush the passer.

“We decided early in the week we wanted to be able to run the football,” Holgorsen explained. “We committed to it and stuck with it. The guys up front did a great job of blocking and Cody Clay did a great job of blocking. Buie just really ran hard.”

The line, the running back, the receivers, Smith … and then some special plays on special teams from Austin and a defense that really isn’t playing very well, giving up 108 points in two games, making what should be routs into nailbiters.

But even there, cornerback Pat Miller, much maligned all season, saved the day knocking a fourth-down pass away to end a scoring threat.

This one really was that overused and clichéd team victory.

Perhaps what said more about this West Virginia team than anything occurred late in the game, as the Mountaineers were running down the clock, handing the ball to Buie and watching him spin for yardage, drive for yardage and finally run into the end zone.

It happened about 1,400 miles away from Darrell K. Royal – Memorial Stadium, right here in Morgantown.

Shawne Alston was nursing a thigh bruise for the third straight week and surely Buie’s performance had knocked him out of his starting job and he knew it, yet in those closing seconds this was what he put on Twitter:

“After this win I wonder if #mountaineerNation gone meet the team at the stadium. I know I am lol?”

All Alston cared about at the moment was not his job, simply about the team, about the magnitude of this victory that he could not contribute to.

It is that way and why when it was over Smith’s remarks were not about the heroics of anyone but the heroics of everyone.

“We stuck together and won as a team,” he said even before he went into the locker room.

It was mentioned to him that he and his team had gone through not just a small amount of adversity in this one but had really been tested, both as players and as men, Smith in particular.

He had done nothing wrong all season and had come into the game with 222 consecutive passes without an interception and came out of it with 257. But this one was a test of character, not of skill.

“You know what? I have some great teammates and coaches. They kept me up during the game. I had two fumbles in the red zone and gave them two chances,” he said.

But they wouldn’t let him hold his head down, not when he fumbled and not when the team fell behind.

That allowed Smith to be there at the end, to drive the team the length of the field and throw a 6-yard TD pass, a laser of a pass, to Bailey in the end zone that gave WVU the lead at 41-38 with 4:10 left, a lead they would not relinquish as they went to 5-0 with their first Big 12 road victory.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Tori Postlewait front.jpg East’s Postlewait, North’s Latocha toss no-hitters

    Tori Postlewait made a deal with her great-uncle, Kenny Carpenter, before her freshman season.
    If the Bees’ pitcher tossed a no-hitter, Carpenter promised to give her $20.
    Well, it took four years, but it’s finally time for Postlewait’s great-uncle to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • East tennis splits with Polar Bears

    Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
    In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • University hands Huskies first loss; East edges Elkins

    The mercy rule has been a familiar part of North Marion’s softball season.
    Through the first seven games, the Huskies regularly pounded their opponents with stingy defense, sharp pitching and timely hitting. Rarely did a game go all seven innings for the previously undefeated team.

    April 17, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0

    Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
    Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos