POG: WVU - Colorado

BlueGoldNews.com picks the outstanding players and performances from the West Virginia - Colorado game

Unlike in West Virginia's loss to East Carolina, the Mountaineers did have a handful of standout performances in Thursday night's overtime defeat at Colorado.

West Virginia's pass defense -- maligned through the season's first two games -- got a huge boost from senior cornerback Ellis Lankster. Making his third career start, Lankster finished with 11 tackles and a pair of breakups.

As a team, West Virginia buckled down defensively after the Buffaloes jumped out to a 14-0 start courtesy of two Cody Hawkins touchdown passes. Hawkins through for 105 yards in the first quarter, but was limited to just 75 yards for the rest of the game.

Lankster was also played a big role on special teams, returning three punts for a total of 64 yards on the night with a long of 36.



Noel Devine

Offensively, tailback Noel Devine had a fine game, picking up 133 yards on 26 carries. A wide variety of Devine's endless attributes were on display as the 5'7" sophomore made countless Buffs whiff on tackle attempts and sped up field for positive yardage.

Devine also showed that he can pack a mighty punch, finishing off one third quarter run by barrelling over a Colorado safety, and throwing a huge block to spring quarterback Patrick White for a big gain.
GAME BALLS

  • Despite playing for the first time since the Fiesta Bowl, linebacker Reed Williams looked to be in midseason form. The Moorefield, W.Va. native finished with six tackles on the night and also picked off a first-half Colorado pass attempt. Williams's mere presence seemed to lift the Mountaineer defense.

  • After falling behind 14-0 early in the game, West Virginia's defense could have easily laid down at the mercy of the upstart Buffs. Instead, Jeff Casteel's troops rallied, keeping Colorado out of the end zone for the rest of regulation, and giving the Mountaineer offense a pair of extra possessions resulting from two turnovers.

  • Quarterback Patrick White did all he could to will West Virginia to victory. White inched closer to breaking Brad Smith's NCAA record for quarterback rushing yards with his 148-yard night. White moved into third place on the all-time NCAA list, passing former Kent State standout Joshua Cribbs.

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