AUSTIN, Texas -- West Virginia's widely praised offense got just enough help from its equally questioned defense and then just a little more from the respected opponent as No. 8/7 WVU defeated No. 11/9 Texas 48-45 at Texas Memorial Stadium Saturday.
Up 41-38, but trying to keep Texas out of the end zone, linebacker Josh Francis had his team's first sack of the game to set up a third-and-13 and cornerback Pat Miller followed by batting down a pass on fourth-and-13 to stop a potential scoring drive in WVU territory.
"Pat Miller is a huge reason why we won this game," defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said of the senior who had five tackles, one tackle for two pass breakups.
Two plays later, though, quarterback Geno Smith was sacked and lost his second fumble of the game as the Longhorns took over at WVU's 12-yard line with 7:46 to go. On third-and-6, the shotgun snap sailed past quarterback David Ash. Kicker Anthony Fera, a Penn State transfer playing in his first game this season, missed to the right on a 41-yard kick.
On the ensuing drive, Andrew Buie ran for 64 of his career-high 207 yards and ended things with a 5-yard run by Buie, his second score of the game. Buie offered superb relief of injured starter Shawne Alston, who missed a second straight game after playing but a few snaps three games ago against Maryland.
"I was hoping that would be the case and he averaged 6.7 yards a run," Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "What surprised me was he carried it 31 times. But we committed to the run. That's something we talked about early in the week and there weren't any tricks, either. We lined up and ran right at them and we felt like that was going to be a difference so we could alleviate some of the pressure on Geno."
The Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) ended a 12-game, 30-year losing streak in road games against top-10 teams and improved to 2-18 in games before a crowd of 75,000 or larger. WVU's last road win against a top-10 team was at No. 9 Oklahoma in 1982 -- which was the lone win before a crowd of 75,000 or more.
Saturday night's exploits came before a stadium record 101,851.
"It was rocking out there," receiver Stedman Bailey said. "A hundred thousand fans, you'd think it would be very loud out there, but I'd never heard a crowd so loud.
"But it was a big win against a great opponent like Texas and to do it on the road in front of 100,000 fans screaming and doing what they can do to help Texas beat us is a dream come true."
The Mountaineers will move up in the polls when they're released Sunday. LSU, Florida State and Georgia, ranked Nos. 3, 4, or 5 in both polls, all lost Saturday.
Buie added 66 yards on three receptions and one eight-yard return on a squib kick and finished with 281 all-purpose yards, the ninth-best total in team history.
Smith completed 25 of 35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. He now has 24 touchdowns and no interceptions on 204 attempts this season. Three touchdowns went to Bailey, who had eight receptions for 75 yards. Tavon Austin added 10 receptions for 102 yards.
Ash, who was second nationally to Smith in passer efficiency, finished 22-for-29 for 269 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Gray had 87 of his team's 135 yards rushing.
WVU set a stadium record for points scored by a Big 12 team despite two turnovers. Texas (4-1, 1-1) had one and had won 73 straight games when it won the turnover battle. The Mountaineers also prevailed despite a missed field goal, a blocked punt by the team's place kicker, a Texas defensive touchdown and just three conversions in 12 third down attempts -- and they had been leading the nation in third-down conversion percentage.