Say what you want about the NFL’s Thursday Night Color Rush games, but Tavon Austin seems to love them.
The Rams do-it-all player channeled his inner Mountaineer and torched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
On a night when most of the nation’s attention was turned to the new Star Wars movie, most diehard football fans were treated to an offensive explosion by Tavon Austin.
It was reminiscent of Austin’s performance on Nov. 18, 2012. Against Oklahoma, Austin rushed for a WVU-record 344 yards and set a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards.
Austin had touchdown runs of 4 and 74 yards against the Sooners, though the Mountaineers fell late, 50-49.
It was part of a five-game losing streak for WVU at the time.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Rams found themselves in a similar position.
The Rams were 5-8 entering the game. Not only have they been losing games, the city of St. Louis has been in danger of losing its football team.
Owner Stan Kroenke plans to build a new stadium in Los Angeles and eventually move the team out there.
Austin gave Rams fans one last potential parting gift.
As St. Louis earned a 31-23 win over the Buccaneers, Austin put on another dazzling performance.
He had two touchdowns and averaged 13.7 yards per catch.
His versatility for the Rams this season has been the lone bright spot in the NFL’s 31st ranked offense.
This is the first year that Austin has started every game. It’s his third year in the league and he has 14 starts in 2015. In the past two seasons, Austin had 11 starts combined.
The renewed playing time has given Austin a chance to breakout and he has when presented with the opportunity.
Thursday was his third two touchdown performance of the season. He had a pair of scores against Baltimore, his hometown, and Arizona. Both were road games.
For Austin to play the way he did in St. Louis, on a bittersweet night for many Rams fans, just made the win more special.
In college, Austin won the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile performer. This year he has shown that he is worthy of that honor in the NFL, too.
He just needs a chance.