AUSTIN, Texas – Andrew Buie ran for a career-high 207 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 5-yard TD run with 1:18 left to help No. 8 West Virginia knock off 11th-ranked Texas, 48-45, before a Darrell K. Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium record crowd of 101,851 Saturday night in Austin.
After Buie’s run made it 48-38, the Longhorns kept it interesting when David Ash completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin with 15 seconds left. The Mountaineers needed a Nana Kyeremeh recovery of an Anthony Fera onside kick to run out the clock.
"I'm really proud of the guys," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. " I'm proud of the way they fought on all three sides of the ball."
"I want to congratulate West Virginia, they've got a very fine football team," said Texas coach Mack Brown.
Quarterback Geno Smith had another terrific performance, completing 25-of-35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns – three of those going to Stedman Bailey. Smith’s other TD pass went to Tavon Austin for 40 yards.
Bailey finished the game with eight catches for 75 yards and three scores, while Austin added 10 grabs for 102 yards and a touchdown. Austin now shows 58 catches for 662 yards and eight touchdowns while Bailey has 49 catches for 710 yards and 13 touchdowns.
"Tavon Austin is one of the best football players I've ever seen and they do a good job of getting him the football," said Brown.
Smith boosted his season totals to 164-of-204 passes for 1,996 yards and 24 touchdowns with no interceptions.
Ash completed 22-of-29 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown, while Joe Bergerson had four TD runs – all four coming from four yards or less – for Texas, now 4-1, 1-1.
It was another back and forth game for the Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0) after coming off a 70-63 victory over Baylor a week ago in Morgantown that rewrote the WVU and NCAA record books.
Tonight, the offense didn’t quite reach those numbers, but West Virginia was still pretty good, accumulating 461 total yards, including 191 on the ground.
"They put a nickel package out here for the entire game, kept two linebackers in the box, so we had to put an emphasis on running the ball and we did a great job tonight," said Smith.
West Virginia’s maligned defense also held up pretty well against a Texas offense that came into tonight’s game ranked 23rd nationally in total offense and fourth in pass efficiency offense. The Longhorns finished the evening with 404 total yards.
Buie easily played the best game of his career, and it was his legs that iced the game for the Mountaineers on their final drive. Buie ran seven times on the march, including jaunts of 11, 22 and 14 yards before his game-clinching run.
"We just lined up and ran it right at them," said Holgorsen. "I'm proud of Buie and I can't say enough about the offensive line."
A key sequence came late in the game when Texas, after recovering a second Smith fumble at the WVU 12, faced a third and six at the West Virginia eight. A poor shotgun snap that Ash was not ready for rolled back to the Mountaineer 24 where Ash finally picked up the ball and was tackled by Pat Miller, leaving the Longhorns with a 41-yard field goal try to tie the game. Fera’s attempt had the distance but sailed wide right of the goal post.
Earlier in the game, another Smith fumble inside his five-yard line led to a Texas score when he was blindsided by Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat ended up with the ball in the end zone.
"Those guys out there did a great job getting to me," said Smith. "Two times, I fumbled the ball and put my team in a very bad position. Had that not happened the game probably would have been a lot different."
It was West Virginia’s first win over a Top 11-ranked team on the road since knocking off 11th-ranked Boston College, 17-14, in Chestnut Hill on Nov. 26, 1993.
The Mountaineers are also 2-0 against Texas with both wins coming in Austin.
"I've been here when it was not loud, but it was loud tonight," said Holgorsen. "And for us to be able to overcome that was pretty cool."
West Virginia is back in Texas next weekend to face Texas Tech in Lubbock on Oct. 13. Texas takes on Oklahoma next Saturday in the Red River Rivalry in Dallas.