Think back, not way back, but back. There was a time when Dana Holgorsen and WVU had it rolling. Thanks to the foresight of Oliver Luck, the work of Senator Jay Rockefeller, and Senator Joe Manchin publicly taking on some prominent Louisville alum, WVU was able to stay among the haves in college football jumping from the Big East to the Big XII. After assuring their place in college football's hierarchy WVU snuck through their remaining Big East schedule doing enough to win the conference and earn an automatic BCS berth. After embarrassing Clemson and the ACC and shattering several bowl records for offense WVU was off for a new home in the Big XII.
Life in the Big XII began with high expectations as WVU was voted second place in the 2012 Big XII preseason poll, sat just outside the top ten in the USA Today preseason rankings, and had a legit Heisman candidate in Geno Smith. Initially, WVU did not disappoint. First, they torched Marshall with only a failed extra point keeping WVU from scoring 70 in consecutive games.
Next, WVU easily dispatched James Madison at FedEx Field and Maryland at home.
WVU then started Big XII play with a classic shootout victory over Baylor that culminated with a scene that fans across the country took note of:
Finally, came the big one. Fans across the country had circled October 6, 2012 as the date when the Big XII would see if the Mountaineers were for real. For on that date WVU would have to travel to the heart of Texas football to Longhorn country to take on the University of Texas. Make no mistake about it this was a big game. So big in fact that fans packed Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium setting an attendance record with 101,851 in attendance. Incidentally, WVU week is apparently the biggest party weekend at the University of Texas. Lame:
Back to the game. By this point in the season WVU had climbed to #8 and UT was sitting at #11. For as much hype as the game had leading up to it the teams did not disappoint. Tavon set the tone for the game returning the opening kickoff 44 yards to get WVU going. Five plays later Geno hit Stedman for a touchdown and the Mountaineers were on the board.
Texas answered quickly to tie up the game at 7-7, and when Holgorsen rolled the dice on 4th down on WVU's next possession he was rewarded with a 40 yard Tavon Austin touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Texas punted on its next possession, and WVU continued to roll as Andrew Buie put the Mountaineers up 21-7 on a four-yard run. On Texas's next possession Karl Joseph punished Texas receiver Marquis Goodwin causing a fumble, and WVU had possession again and looked like they might rout the Longhorns.
Unfortunately, WVU could not capitalize and Texas found its rhythm on offense and defense outscoring the Mountaineers 21-6 the rest of the half on their way to a 28-27 halftime lead. The teams traded several leads in the second half, but when Geno hit Stedman for the third touchdown connection of the night the Mountaineers took the lead for good at 41-38. Andrew Buie added his second touchdown of the night to put WVU up 48-38 and when Texas failed to recover an onside kick after a late touchdown to close within 48-45 the Mountaineers had pulled off the victory.
As noted above, Andrew Buie had an absolute monster game rushing for 218 yards, adding another 66 receiving yards and scoring on two touchdowns.
The game was also notable for Geno Smith getting caught on camera flashing the "Horns Down" toward Texas fans. After the game WVU climbed to #5 in the country and most fans were drinking the Red Bull. I don't have to tell you what has happened since then, but hey, at least our "I'm Shmacked" video is still better than UT's! (NSFW)