Best Individual Mountaineer Football Performances of 2012

2 of 2

#5: Andrew Buie at Texas

Oct 6, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers running back Andrew Buie (13) runs through the line of scrimmage during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. West Virginia beat Texas 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia rolled into Texas with a 4-game winning streak and a high powered offense looking to hook the horns in Austin. Many thought that this game would feature another monster outing by star quarterback Geno Smith. As it turned out, the Mountaineers would execute a well-balanced offense featuring the career performance of Andrew Buie. The sophomore running back exploded onto the scene against a talented Texas defensive front. When the Mountaineers needed short yards, Buie was able to convert. Buie set a career high for rushing yards with 207 yards and 2 touchdowns to give WVU a 48-45 win in front of a record Darrell K. Royal Stadium crowd.

#4: Stedman Bailey at Oklahoma State

Nov 10, 2012; Stillwater OK, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Stedman Bailey (3) catches the pass during the second quarter against Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Brodrick Brown (19) at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of the Mountaineers unprecedented 5-game losing streak, Stedman Bailey quietly set the WVU single game reception record. Bailey had been hampered by a leg injury the previous few games and he was anxious to get back on track in a big road game for the Mountaineers. Bailey became a favorite target for Geno Smith, catching a school record 14 receptions in the game for 225 yards and a touchdown. Bailey’s touchdown was on a fourth down pass from back-up quarterback Paul Millard. WVU lost 34-55 in Stillwater.

#3: Geno Smith vs Kansas

December 1, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) passes the ball against the Kansas Jayhawks during the fourth quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The West Virginia Mountaineers won 59-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With bowl positioning on the line, the Mountaineers welcomed Big XII whipping boy Kansas into Milan Puskar Stadium. Geno Smith and the rest of the Mountaineer seniors were looking to finish off their careers with one final dominant performance in front of the home crowd. Geno came out gunning, completing his first pass for 53 yards to Bailey. Smith finished the game completing 23 of 24 passes for 407 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 95.8% completions tied the NCAA single game record set by Tee Martin in 1998. Smith’s arm powered WVU to a 59-10 win.

#2: Tavon Austin vs Oklahoma

November 17, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin (1) carries the ball on a 31 yard gain against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The most exciting and most memorable individual performance of the 2012 football season came from the explosive Tavon Austin. With WVU looking to break their losing streak, the Mountaineers looked to get a huge upset win over the visiting Sooners. Holgorsen went into his bag of tricks to line Austin up in the backfield for the majority of the snaps in this game. Austin took advantage of the carries to set a school record for single game rushing yards with 344 yards and 2 touchdowns. Austin would also add 82 yards receiving and 146 yards on kick returns to total 572 all-purpose yards. That set a WVU record for all-purpose yards in a single game and fell short of the NCAA record of 578 yards set by Emmett White.

#1: Everyone vs Baylor

September 29, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers cheerleader celebrates a touchdown in the second half in the game against the Baylor Bears at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia defeated Baylor 70-63. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia vs Baylor game was loaded with monster, record setting performances for both teams. The Mountaineers and the Bears ran up and down the field on each other so often, fans began to wonder if there were even defenses on the field. Geno Smith put up a single game record 656 passing yards, 687 all-purpose yards, and 8 touchdown passes. Tavon Austin set the single game receptions record at 14 grabs to accumulate 215 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stedman Bailey set single game records with 303 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns. Even J.D. Woods reeled in career personal bests with 13 receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. The Mountaineers out-gunned the Bears in a thrilling 70-63 shootout.