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November 20, 2012

Bailey finalist for Biletnikoff Award

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s junior receiver Stedman Bailey, who caught four touchdown passes on Saturday night in a 50-49 loss to Oklahoma, has survived as a finalist of the Biletnikoff Award but his teammate Tavon Austin, who moved to running back for that game, was not among the final three.

Bailey was joined by Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams.

“Tavon is having a great year as well, and I feel he should be on there as well,” Bailey said. “The people who voted for it, it’s in their hands and they selected the other two guys.”

The award is presented annually by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

“I just heard about it during practice,” Bailey said following Monday’s practice. “Coach Holgorsen brought me to the side and whispered it in my ear. It’s a tremendous honor and a true blessing to be one of the finalists.”

This year’s Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented by Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards show airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6.

The Biletnikoff Award winner will be feted and receive the award-winning Biletnikoff trophy, the most beautiful in college sports, at the 19th annual Biletnikoff Award Banquet for 550 patrons at the University Center at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka will deliver the keynote address and introduce the recipients of Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation scholarships totaling $640,000 this year. The scholarship recipients have overcome significant barriers to achieve at the highest academic and extracurricular levels.

It was obvious from the season’s first Big 12 game that Bailey and Williams were headed toward this showdown as they had one of the field when WVU won a 70-63 shootout.

Bailey caught 13 passes in that game for a school record 303 years and five of the eight touchdown passes thrown by quarterback Geno Smith.

And he wasn’t the leading receiver that day. In fact, he was third as Austin caught 14 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns and Williams caught an unbelievable 17 passes for 314 yards and pair of TDs.

Williams, Lee and Bailey are the three top receivers in yards per game this season. Williams has caught 82 passes and averages 151 yards receiving per game, Lee has 107 catches and 146 yards a game and Bailey 88 catches and 126 yards a game, but he fought a bad ankle for a couple of games in mid-season.

Bailey, however, with 20 TD catches has only five less than the other two combined (Williams 14, Lee 11).

Lee’s 107 catches leads the nation but Austin, even though he played one game at running back, leads in catches per game with 10.0.

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