BATON ROUGE, La. -- West Virginia Coach Bill Stewart seemed more upset with how running back Noel Devine was hurt than with the fact the team's top offensive threat was left limited following a tackle out of bounds on the team's second series.
Devine finished a 15-yard reception by scooting out of bounds, but was brought down hard by LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow. Barrow was penalized on the play, just one snap after defensive lineman Pep Levingston was flagged 15 yards for tackling Devine by the facemask.
Devine suffered a bruised toe on his right foot on Barrow's tackle and had to leave the game briefly. He wasn't right the rest of the way and had 14 carries for 37 yards. The Mountaineers lost, 20-14, and Sunday fell out of both national polls.
"Did you see him get hit out of bounds?" Stewart said. "That's what was wrong. He got hit out of bounds. He got his foot hurt and that's what's wrong."
Pressed further about how that may have affected the offense once Devine had to exit, Stewart responded sharply.
"Did you see him get hit out of bounds?" he said. "That's why. He got hit out of bounds. They rolled up on his foot. That's why. He was hurt."
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PENALTIES COMMITTED by Barrow and Levingston were two of 12 called against the Tigers. They actually finished with 120 yards in penalties and 80 yards passing. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson was 10-for-22 for 75 yards and two interceptions. He was booed at times during the game and once cheered for throwing the ball out of bounds.
LSU even used backup Jarrett Lee for a series in the fourth quarter.
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PATRICK PETERSON'S 60-yard punt return touchdown in the second quarter was the first allowed by WVU since 2006. Pitt's Darrelle Revis had a 73-yard return touchdown in Pittsburgh in 2006.
"Pretty good player," Stewart said of Peterson, who was averaging 23.9 yards on seven punt returns entering the game and already had a touchdown this season. "We didn't get him tackled."
Peterson punctuated his score by striking the Heisman Trophy pose in the back of the end zone, which earned him a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a conversation with Coach Les Miles.
"I apologize," Peterson said. "I was caught in the moment. I've just got to control myself on the celebration next time."
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WVU WELCOMED two different returns. Cornerback Brandon Hogan started after missing the Maryland game following an indefinite suspension for a DUI arrest Sept. 12. Middle linebacker Pat Lazear, who hadn't played all season with a knee/tibia injury, did not start, but made one tackle.