Turnovers Kill Mountaineers


In what was billed as a huge weekend with College Gameday and a rockin house at Milan Puskar Stadium, LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee threw three touchdown passes, Michael Ford ran for two scores, and the LSU defense came up with four turnovers in a 47-21 victory over 16th-ranked West Virginia Saturday night in Morgantown.

LSU’s 47 points scored on the Mountaineers were the most given up by a WVU team at home since Maryland scored 48 in a 31 point victory on Oct. 5, 2002.

“We showed up in a hostile environment and we had to play,” said Miles. “Our defense came to play and we got off to a nice start.”

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith set school records for passing attempts (65), completions (38), and passing yards (463), while Tavon Austin finished the game with 11 receptions for 187 yards and Stedman Bailey added eight catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.

“We got beat by a good football team,” added West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “If I was to have scripted it, I probably wouldn’t have scripted it this way.”

West Virginia had 533 total yards and 28 first downs against an LSU defense that came into the game allowing just 208 yards per game, while the Tigers produced 366 total yards, 186 of those coming on the ground.

The Mountaineers were forced to play catch up from the outset against the nation’s sixth-ranked defense. WVU was down 13-0 early, and answered with a 12 play, 73 yard drive that ended in the end zone when Stedman Bailey caught a touchdown pass from Geno Smith, cutting the lead to 6. 13-7

Then LSU made it 20-7 on its very next possession when Lee found Beckham on a third and 1 at the 48 for a 52 yard touchdown pass.

Tyrann Mathieu ended first half by batting into the air a Smith screen pass, catching it, and then returning it 17 yards to the WVU 1 to set up Chase Clement’s TD catch. 27-7 at the half.

LSU took the opening kick off of the second half and marched down the field on the WVU defense, only to miss a field goal. The Mountaineer offense charged back down the field driving 80 yards in six plays, ending with a Tyler Urban 12 yard touchdown catch. 27-14

The Mountaineer defense forced a LSU punt, and the WVU offense took over again with a 72 yard reception by Tavon Austin. Dustin Garrison would later punch it in from the 1.  27-21.

WVU had all the momentum in the world. Milan Puskar Stadium was rocking, the ABC announce team was starting to believe, then here comes Morris Claiborne.

Claiborne took the kick off 99 yards to the house for the LSU touchdown, and that alone seem to take the air out of the 62,056 in attendance.  34-21

LSU scored two late touchdowns on the ground against a worn out Mountaineer defense. Final score LSU 47 WVU 21.

Coach Holgorsen’s post game comments said it all.

“We had four turnovers and they had none. We had twice as many penalties and the special teams were completely one sided, so those three things pretty much got them the victory,” said Holgorsen

The Mountaineer offense moved the ball on the LSU defense, that didn’t matter to Holgorsen.

“You can talk about 500 yards if you want to, but the only thing I am going to talk about tomorrow is four turnovers,” Holgorsen said. “Three out of four games we had zero turnovers.”

WVU faces Bowling Green at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday, a contest that will air on the Big East Network, ROOT SPORTS, and ESPN3.com