WVU Seniors Say Farewell to Motown
MORGANTOWN – Saturday’s game marked the final home game for 21 West Virginia seniors who were a part of 35 victories, two conference championships and three bowl appearances during their careers with a bowl game left.
“They had a tremendous amount of fun out there,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I’m glad they went out on top.”
Here’s a look at their contributions in their final game at Mountaineer Field.
Tavon Austin (WR): Selected as a game captain. Caught four passes for 110 yards, rushed 12 times for 77 yards and a score and was continually kicked away from on special teams, where he did not field one. He totaled 187 all-purpose yards and broke his own school record for all-purpose yards in a season (2,760).
Josh Francis (LB): Had two tackles.
Pat Miller (CB): Had one tackle, which went for a loss of a yard.
Geno Smith (QB): Selected as a game captain. Completed 23 of 24 passes, tying the NCAA record for completion percentage (with former Steeler Tee Martin) of 98.5. Those passes went for 407 yards and three touchdowns. The only pass he didn’t complete was intercepted, meaning none of his throws hit the ground.
“Pretty impressive,” Holgorsen said.
He also broke his own record for consecutive completions (21, spanning the first through fourth quarters).
Shawne Alston (RB): Scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, giving him 19 for his career and vaulting him into the top 10 all-time at the school. He’s scored 19 touchdowns in his last 18 games. He also rushed 10 times for 40 yards.
Cecil Level (S): Had two tackles, including one for a loss of a yard.
Terence Garvin (LB): Selected as a game captain. Had three tackles, including one on a fourth-and-2 play where he stopped Kansas running back James Sims a yard short.
Donovan Miles (RB): Played but did not record a statistic.
Ryan Clarke (RB): Did not play.
Nick Cadwell (S): Had one tackle
Tyler Bitancurt (K/P): Was perfect on eight extra-point attempts. Made a 30-yard field goal with 9:11 left in the third quarter. His only punt, with 1:46 left in the game, went for 31yards. He has 356 points for his career and is 28 behind all-time leader Pat McAfee.
Corey Smith (K/P): Kicked off 10 times for an average of 64.2 yards.
Taige Redman (LB): Had one tackle for a loss of three yards on a fourth-and-four late in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Braun (OL), John Bassler (OL), Joe Madsen (OL), and Josh Jenkins (OL): Blocked for an offense that totaled 647 yards and pushed its season total to 6,222, a single-season best at WVU. Jenkins was also flagged 15 yards for an illegal block in the first quarter.
Ryan Nehlen (WR): Had one catch for minus-1 yard. Smith said his only regret of the day was not getting Nehlen in the end zone.
J.D. Woods (WR): Had four catches for 83 yards, including a 50-yard bomb in the first quarter that was easily the longest grab of his career. His previous best was 22 yards (three times).
J.B. Lageman (DL): Did not play.
Jorge Wright (DL): Was selected as a game captain. Had four tackles.