West Virginia's Tavon Austin haunts Maryland

Dunbar graduate, former UM recruiting target, torches Terps for 172 all-purpose yards

  • Dunbar graduate Tavon Austin caught seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in West Virginia's 31-17 win over Maryland.
Dunbar graduate Tavon Austin caught seven passes for 106 yards… (AP photo )
September 18, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — — Maryland probably didn't need another reminder that wide receiver Tavon Austin (Dunbar) — who was once heavily recruited by the Terps — opted to enroll at West Virginia instead.

But the Terps were reminded often Saturday. Seven times, to be exact. That's the number of receptions Austin made for the No. 21 Mountaineers in West Virginia's 31-17 victory.

Austin caught passes of 6 and 5 yards for West Virginia's first two touchdowns. The sophomore also had a 57-yard kickoff return and finished with 172 all-purpose yards.

Austin was one of Maryland's most prolific high school players ever.

He said Saturday that he was pleased to be on the winning side of a game featuring two schools that had courted him so heavily.

"I'm glad I made the right choice," Austin said.

Defensive fatigue

Saturday marked the second time this season — the Navy game was the first — in which Maryland's defense had reason to be tired at the end.

Maryland managed to beat Navy in the season opener despite having the ball about half as often as the Midshipmen.

On Saturday, West Virginia held the ball for 37:02 compared to Maryland's 22:58. The defense looked tired on West Virginia's long final drive that consumed 8:55 and ended with a 23-yard field goal by Tyler Bitancourt to account for the final margin.

"You know at that point we're logging our 88th, 89th and 90th snap, which is a long day," defensive coordinator Don Brown said.

Long-awaited debut

Tight end Will Yeatman, a Terps lacrosse player who once played on the football team at Notre Dame, made his debut Saturday but didn't catch a pass.

Yeatman broke a finger during August training camp and missed Maryland's first two games.

Coaches have often said that Yeatman possesses good hands.

But it was hard for him to catch on Saturday. On his left hand was a white cast with fingers wrapped and thumb extended — basically a small, fitted club.

Early risers

Noon-starting road games mean early starts to the day for road teams.

Maryland's hotel was an 80-minute drive from Morgantown. The Terps had to get on their four buses before 8:30 in the morning to make it to the game.

But the early start did not hamper West Virginia. "We didn't hit the snooze button," West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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