POG: West Virginia - Auburn

Our picks for outstanding players and performances from the West Virginia-Auburn game.

Offensively, it was a toss-up for the BlueGoldNews.com staff. In the end, however, sophomore tailback Noel Devine again claimed the honor with his career-high night on the ground against one of the nation's most ballyhooed defenses.

Devine zigged, zagged and zipped his way to a career-best 207 yards on just 17 carries. The diminutive sophomore kept the Mountaineers in the game in the first half, and wrapped a big blue and gold bow around the biggest win of the season with his 30-yard scoring run with 4:22 remaining in regulation.

Devine's run put West Virginia over the 30-point plateau for the first time against Division I FBS competition this season.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Anthony Leonard continued his stellar play in the absences of redshirting senior stalwart Reed Williams at the Mike linebacker spot.



Anthony Leonard

Leonard, a native of McKeesport, Pa., registered a game-high 16 tackles, including 11 in the first half of play to keep West Virginia in the game.
GAME BALLS

  • Dorrell Jalloh. When his career comes to an end at the conclusion of this season, Jalloh's pass-catching stats might not stand out on paper, but the times and games that he has made those catches surely will. Jalloh, who owns a pair of big-time two-point conversions in his career to clinch overtime wins over Louisville (2005) and Rutgers (2006), turned in another pair of big catches against the Tigers.

    Jalloh's third-quarter touchdown reception from Pat White from two yards away gave West Virginia its first lead of the game. His 32-yard catch and run to paydirt on a fourth-quarter third down gave the Mountaineers a little bit of breathing room. Jalloh now has five career touchdown catches, three of which have come during the 2008 season.

  • Chris Neild. The big sophomore continued his big year in the trenches, registering eight tackles from his nose guard position and plugging up the middle of the line to force Auburn's running game outside for much of the night.

  • Jeff Mullen. West Virginia's first-year offensive coordinator has taken a ton of heat from fans and media over the first half of the season, but called his best game against the best defense West Virginia has faced to this point. The Mountaineers rolled up 465 yards against a Tigers defense which was giving up just 272 per game coming into Thursday night.

    The Mountaineers ran for 301 yars on the ground, nearly 200 yards more than what Auburn had been allowing per game.

    Most importantly, Mullen kept the Tigers and defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads off balance for much of the night, particularly in the second half. Despite two early interceptions resulting in 10 Auburn points, Mullen stuck to the game plan and delivered West Virginia's biggest win of the season.


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