For the season, Austin compiled 2,910 all-purpose yards, an average of 223.8 yards per game. His average yards per game was 80 more than any other player in the Big 12 Conference and the second-best mark in the nation. Austin ran for 643 yards on 72 carries with three touchdowns, caught 114 passes for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns, had 32 kick returns for 813 yards with a touchdown, and returned 15 punts for 165 yards and a touchdown. Austin closed out his collegiate career with 150 all-purpose yards in West Virginia's Pinstripe Bowl appearance on Dec. 29.
Under the direction of head coach Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia finished the year with a 7-6 record, including wins over No. 25 Baylor and on the road at No. 11 Texas. The Mountaineers were one-point shy of beating No. 13 Oklahoma in late-November and suffered an overtime defeat against TCU. Austin helped the Mountaineers score at least 42 points on six occasions in 2012.
"Tavon's play on the field defines versatility, and as I said during the season, he was the most dangerous player in the nation with the ball in his hands," Holgorsen said. "He is deserving of such a prestigious honor, and the program, the University and the state are very proud of him and his accomplishment."
Austin was chosen as the Paul Hornung Award winner from among four finalists by a 16-member national Selection Committee comprised of sports journalists and retired NFL players, and secured an additional first place vote from online fan voting. On Dec. 7, Austin, Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky), Dri Archer (Kent State) and Marqise Lee (USC) were named as Paul Hornung Award finalists. All voting was confirmed by Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington.
For the second consecutive year, fans made their voice known in the selection of the finalists and winner of the Paul Hornung Award. In 2012, 71,440 votes were cast to select the finalists throughout college football's regular season. In less than one month, 19,240 votes were cast to choose the winner of this year's award. The online fan vote accounts for the equivalent of one selection committee member.