A Little Luck Never Hurt

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by SpartyUp, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. SpartyUp

    SpartyUp Walk On

    Jul 7, 2011
    Millard Mans Up in Relief of Smith, Leads WVU to Last Second Win

    The #15 West Virginia Mountaineers took a trip to Tampa for their season finale this week against the USF Bulls. It was a classic trap game with WVU already having wrapped up the Big East and the Bulls were upset-minded from the beginning.

    After a scoreless first quarter, both offenses started to get going. South Florida jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead with a touchdown run from D Murray and a pass from BJ Daniels to E Landi, both sandwished around a Geno Smith fumble deep in Mountaineer territory.

    The Mountaineers had slept right through the kickoff, but soon would wake up. West Virginia responded to the early deficit with 10 quick points of their own as Andrew Biue scored from 8 yards out, cutting the Bulls lead to 14-10.

    The defense began to play some ball as well, keeping the Bulls out of Mountaineer territory for the rest of the half. But on the final play of the 2nd quarter, while trying to buy some time for his wideouts to get open Geno Smith scrambled outside of the pocket and didn't notice the linebacker just waiting on him to rollout. The linebackers crushed Smith, forcing a fumble. P. Hampton picked the fumble up for the Bulls and took it all the way back to the house to give USF a 21-10 lead to stalwart the WVU momentum.

    It wasn't looking good for the Mountaineers after the third quarter with USF holding a 24-13 lead. But Geno Smith and the Mountaineers came out for the final quarter ready to do their damage. Smith carried the Mountaineers right down the field and into scoring position quickly. But with WVU set up with a 1st and 10 from inside the 20 devastation would strike. Geno Smith was sacked and knocked out of the game with a concussion, putting a damper on WVU's hopes.

    The fate of the Mountaineers then lied with seldom-used and little known sophomore QB Paul Millard. No one really knew what to expect as he had been a wild card in his two appearences this year. But, what West Virginia fans were about to witness would be a treat. Millard stepped right into Smith's shoes and finished off the touchdown drive with a pretty throw on the run to cut the lead to just 5.

    The Defense continued to stay strong and got the ball back for the offense. And Millard continued to execute, going 3/4 on the following drive while Andrew Buie punched in his second TD on the ground to give West Virginia their first lead of the game with just a minute left.

    It was at this time however that both BJ Daniels stepped up and the West Virginia defense laid down. The Bulls efficiently got the ball down the field and inside the thirty yard line for their kicker to kick the potential game-winning field goal and USF took a 27-25 lead with 2 seconds left.

    After a touchback on the ensuing kick, the Mountaineers had just one second and eighty yards to go. With an inexperienced backup QB, the Mountaineers seemingly had no chance. But something was inside of Paul Millard this day that couldn't be explained. The QB got off a beautiful pass just before getting sacked. The ball floated in the air while three Mountaineer recievers raced under it. The pass looked as if it would surely be knocked down, but the ball bounced of the defender's thigh pad and right into the waiting hands of Tavon Austin. Austin broke away from the defender and outran the rest of the Bulls defenders for the game-winner, leaving the Bulls with hung heads and broken hearts. After all the bounces and breaks had gone USF's way all game, it was only fitting that the one that mattered most went for the Mountaineers.

    The win gives West Virginia a perfect season in the Big East, and their likely destination come Bowl Season will be New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

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