Just like with his offensive plays, West Virginia University football coach likes to spread the wealth a bit. That's why he opted to choose running back Shawne Alston as his player of the game instead of quarterback Geno Smith, who was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week.
"Geno's going to get his awards," Holgorsen said during Monday's Big 12 Coaches teleconference. "Geno played his best game since I've been here, and Shawne played his best game ever as a Mountaineer. We considered giving it to (offensive lineman) Jeff Braun. You could have made a case for a lot of guys."
Alston ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 69-34 win over in-state rival Marshall in the final Friends of Coal Bowl.
The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
West Virginia University running back Shawne Alston, left, shoves Marshall’s Okechukwu Okoroha (10) out of his way as he goes in for a touchdown. Holgorsen said Monday that Alston played his best game ever in a Mountaineer uniform, and that is why Alston was chosen as the team’s top offensive player.
"Shawne had about 65 yards after contact," Holgorsen said.
"He is a physical runner, which is something we've been trying to get him to do for quite some time."
Smith accounted for five touchdowns, one running and four passing, to earn the national recognition.
He completed 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards in the game.
Freshman linebacker Isaiah Bruce, who made his first start as a Mountaineer, was the team's defensive player of the week. Bruce returned a fumble for a touchdown and led the team with 16 tackles.
WVU has the weekend off before returning to competition on Sept. 15 when it travels to Landover, Md., to take on James Madison University at FedEx Field. Kick-off for the contest is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., and the game will be televised locally on Root Sports.