The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 12, 2012

WVU RB Buie can’t wait for next chance

MORGANTOWN —

West Virginia running back Andrew Buie can’t wait to get more work.

Thrust into the starting lineup due to injuries, the sophomore has infused some critically needed balance into the Mountaineers’ offense over the last two games.

He ran for a career-high 207 yards and scored twice in Saturday’s 48-45 win at No. 15 Texas. In one game he eclipsed his yardage total for all of last season. A week earlier he had 82 yards against Baylor.

Buie said he’ll be ready to handle the load again when No. 5 West Virginia (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) plays at Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday.

“I’m going to try to play like that every week,” said Buie, who credited his success to his blockers. “If the opportunities are there I just want to make the most of them and play ball. I’ll take it as long as they’re giving it to me.”

Buie also caught three passes for 66 yards against Texas, giving Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville more to worry about in terms of slowing down the high-scoring Mountaineers.

“He breaks a lot of tackles. He’s got a good burst of speed,” Tuberville said. “They’ve got a good counter punch in terms of running delays and draws and those type of things with him, and also have good screens with him.”

So far, Buie has proven he can do handle the task that coach Dana Holgorsen had hoped could be spread among several backs.

Shawne Alston had 123 yards in the season opener against Marshall, hurt his right thigh the following game against James Madison and hasn’t had a carry since.

Dustin Garrison underwent offseason knee surgery after being injured in practice leading up to January’s Orange Bowl. The coaching staff has brought him along slowly. He’s played in three games and has eight carries for 42 yards.

“You have to be ready at any moment when your name is called,” Buie said.

Buie had 31 carries against Texas and 25 against Baylor. That’s the most in a two-game stretch for any West Virginia back since Garrison had 50 total carries against Bowling Green and Connecticut early in the 2011 season.

Alston didn’t make the trip to Texas and underwent treatment on the thigh from Friday through Tuesday. Holgorsen wouldn’t say what his status would be against Texas Tech, but the coach wants to get Alston and Garrison back to full health as soon as possible so Buie doesn’t get too fatigued.

“The concern is the wear and tear,” Holgorsen said. “The wear and tear is a little different on running backs than quarterback or a receiver or a corner or a safety that doesn’t take that (hit) every time. He carried it 31 times, and he got hit 31 times. He blocks, which is hard, and he runs routes, which is taxing.”

The 5-foot-9, 187-pound Buie was the starter entering the 2011 season but was injured twice over the first three games. He also had fumble issues and wasn’t much of a factor the rest of the season while Garrison got most of the work.

In the offseason, Buie set out on a goal to build his strength and durability.

“I feel like I’m in a way better situation now physically than I was last year at this point,” he said. “From this year to last year it’s definitely like a 10-pound difference in my weight. My strength increased tremendously, and I think it shows now that I’m more physically equipped to play this year.”

Quarterback Geno Smith has noticed the change in Buie.

“He’s older and has got a lot of reps this year,” Smith said. “We all go through those stages where the games are kind of too fast for us and we’ve got to get adjusted to the speed, but he’s done that. He’s doing a great job right now.”

 

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014