Tavon Austin: Mountaineers WR's Career Day Helps Fuel Geno Smith's Heisman Odds

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IISeptember 29, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 29:  Tavon Austin #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs after the catch against the Baylor Bears during the game on September 29, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Geno Smith had plenty of help as he lit up the Baylor Bears defense with 656 yards passing and eight touchdowns. Yes, he threw for eight touchdowns in West Virginia’s 70-63 victory over Baylor on Saturday afternoon.

He had some help, though, from some of his explosive teammates.

Senior wide receiver Tavon Austin, another Heisman hopeful, had the best game of his career. He set personal college career highs in receptions (14) and receiving yards (215) and also scored two touchdowns.

Those touchdowns both came in the third quarter after both teams came out after halftime deadlocked at 35. After a 45-yard run-and-catch touchdown pass on the Mountaineers’ first drive of the half, he struck again with a huge 52-yard catch that gave the Mountaineers a two-score lead.

It was a lead they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the ball game.

Besides Smith and his awesome cast of players, you can also thank the Baylor defense. Heading into this game they were allowing a miserable 29.7 points per game.

That is a number that will be significantly increased after the Mountaineers put 70 up on them.

As a result of this high-scoring Big 12 conference game, Smith has taken a huge step into the Heisman discussion.

Baylor might not have a great defense, and that might be putting it lightly, but the Mountaineers exploded in their first Big 12 game in school history. There isn’t anyone who’s voting on the Heisman that won’t look back and remember Smith’s performance on September 29.

Smith impressed and accounted for nearly 700 yards of total offense. Austin wasn’t the only contributor, or the biggest, as Stedman Bailey amassed over 300 yards and scored FIVE touchdowns for the Mountaineers.

If anything, the West Virginia Mountaineers deserve a team award for how well they out-dueled the Baylor Bears on Saturday.

One thing is for sure, with weapons like Austin and Bailey, Geno Smith is going to continue be involved in Heisman discussions throughout the rest of the 2012 season.


Mike Hoag is a Breaking News Team writer with Bleacher Report and also covers the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for the site.