OU next: A closer look at the West Virginia Mountaineers
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11/15/12 at 3:02 AM
Offense: Quarterback Geno Smith engineers one of the nation's most potent passing attacks. The senior has thrown 31 touchdown passes this season against only three interceptions. Wide receiver Tavon Austin is averaging a nation's-best 10.7 receptions per game, while teammate Stedman Bailey is getting 117.2 receiving yards per contest.
Defense: The Mountaineers' Achilles heel has been their defense, which ranks No. 110 out of 120 schools. The pass defense ranks last, giving up 345.2 yards per game. All but two opponents have reached the 34-point mark, and West Virginia has allowed 49.5 points a contest during its current four-game skid.
Special teams: Austin is the team's top kick returner, averaging 30.3 yards per chance which ranked ninth nationally. He is getting 8.8 yards per punt return. Tyler Bitancurt (41.3 yards) and Corey Smith (42.6) have shared punting duties. Bitancurt is only 6-of-12 on field-goal attempts.
Coaching: Dana Holgorsen is in his second season as a head coach, winning 15 of 22 games. Holgorsen became the first West Virginia head coach to either win a conference championship (Big East) or capture 10 victories (10-3) in his first season. The Mountaineers won the Orange Bowl in 2011.
The series: The teams have split four games, with the most recent being West Virginia's 48-28 triumph in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl