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West Virginia falls short of upset at LSU 20-14

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WVU rallies from 17-0 but misses the upset in Death Valley, falling to LSU 20-14, behind great defense and big special teams plays by the Tigers.

LSU 20 - WVU 14
West Virginia came back from a 17-0 score to in the second quarter to make a ballgame in the second half, pulling to within 17-14 in the third quarter. The Mountaineers had no answer for LSU's Patrick Paterson, who scored on a 60-yard punt return and blocked a field goal. Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith had a 119 yards through the air with two touchdowns.

Game Flow: LSU came out firing to start the scoring in the first quarter off a West Virginia turnover. WVU was unable to find a rhythm early and in the second quarter Geno smith was intercepted leading to an LSU field goal. West Virginia then had another quick three-and-out, and LSU returned the punt for a touchdown. With under six minutes to go in the first-half, though, Smith got WVU on the board with a five-yard touchdown pass. The West Virginia defense started the second-half with an interception that led to another touchdown pass by Smith. LSU added another field goal to get a 20-14 lead, and held on for the win.

Offense: Geno Smith was the offense in this game for West Virginia with a 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Mountaineers could not get the running game going with only 58 yards total for the night. Noel Devine lead the team with 37 yards on 14 carries. Jock Sanders was Smith’s main target with 5 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Stedman Bailey had the other touchdown in the game. 

Defense: The West Virginia defense struggled against the LSU run game but figured out quarterback Jordan Jefferson. The secondary was able to pick off the LSU quarterback twice in the ballgame, and only allowed him to throw for 75 yards and no touchdowns.

Special Teams: WVU's Gregg Pugnetti punted six times in the game, including one that was returned for a touchdown for LSU's Patrick Peterson. West Virginia also had a field goal blocked by Peterson in the first quarter. The West Virginia special teams allowed just over 150 yards on both kick and punt returns.

Game ball: The Tigers' Patrick Peterson returned a punt 60 yards for a score and added a blocked field goal to keep LSU ahead of West Viginia.

Next up:  West Virginia will welcome UNLV (1-3) to Morgantown October 9 at 3:30 PM.

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