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Tavon's Night Can Not Be Overstated

"Tavon Austin is made of thousands of tiny lightning bolts."

Austin finished with 572 all-purpose yards on Saturday.

That quote came courtesy of Twitter and is a slight overstatement (emphasis on slight).

"I was able to make a couple people miss in open space."

That quote came from Tavon Austin after the game and is a vast understatement (emphasis on vast).

It's hard to describe exactly what Tavon Austin did last night, but I can assure you we moved past simple adjectives like "amazing" and "dominant," and went straight to words like "legendary," "epic" and "all-time great."

The 5-foot-9 speedster ran the ball 21 times for 344 yards, had four catches for 82 yards and returned eight kicks for 146 yards.

Let's try to put that in perspective.....

- Despite the long history of excellent running backs to matriculate through West Virginia, Tavon Austin set the Mountaineer record for rushing yards in a game, surpassing Kay Jay Harris' old mark of 337. He also did that on four less carries and against a Top 15 Oklahoma team rather than a downtrodden East Carolina squad that would finish 2-9 and allow over 40 points per game.

- With just one game where he primarily played running back, Tavon Austin is now tied for the most 50+ yard runs (four) by any BCS player in the nation.

- On the evening, he had five plays from the line of scrimmage that went for 40+ yards - runs of 74, 56, 54, and 47, plus a reception for 41. He's now tied for the national lead in that category. Last night alone would have put him in the Top 25.

- Tavon Austin had 572 all-purpose yards on the evening. That shattered the old Big 12 record of 432 and obliterated the previous Mountaineer mark of 356 set by Garrett Ford Sr. back in 1965.

- That 572 total is the most by any BCS Conference player ever and second-most in NCAA history, behind only Utah State's Emmett White and his 578 back in 2000. Those two are on an island of their own, though, as No. 3 on the list is Brian Pruitt with 435.


It was a spectacle to behold, and one that will be marred by the lack of defense and special teams play. One day, though, a new generation of Mountaineer fans will hear only about one of the greatest performances in college football history, rather than a heartbreaking loss.

Let's just hope those future fans hear about it from someone other than Austin himself.

"The only person accounting for me was the safety one-on-one and I just had to beat him," said Austin last night. "Either he would make the play or I would make the play, over time I did beat him."

Tavon Austin: King of the Electric Play, King of the Understatement

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