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Austin honored for fourth time this season

November 27, 2012
By John Wickline Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

For the second straight week, West Virginia's Tavon Austin earned the Paul Hornung Player of the Week, making it the fourth time the talented senior has taken the honor this season.

After a record-setting performance that nearly defeated Oklahoma single-handedly, Austin followed that up in a win over Iowa State with six catches for 99 yards and 74 yards rushing.

He scored one touchdown, and he has the nation's fourth-longest streak with 40 consecutive games with at least one reception.

Austin also won the award in Week 4 and in Week 6 of the season, both coming for his performance on special teams. The weekly winner, along with those on the preseason Watch List, are eligible for fan voting. The award finalists will be announced following the games of this weekend, and the winner will be selected following the completion of the bowl season. Fans can vote until Dec. 2 HYPERLINK ""

Created by the Louisville Sports Commission in 2010, the award is sponsored by the Texas Roadhouse and is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football. Hornung was the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner, playing at Notre Dame, and he is a member of both the college and pro football Halls of Fame. The winner will be honored at a banquet in Louisville in February.

"Tavon is faster than most people on the field," said Kansas coach Charlie Weis, who has the unenviable task of trying to find a way to stop Austin. "You take two plays from (the Iowa State) game, the punt return and that (74-yard pass reception). That's not coaching, though everyone wants to take credit for that. But that's unusual talent, and that's unusual speed."

WVU, 6-5 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12 Conference, hosts Kansas, 1-10 and 0-8, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mountaineer Field. The game will be televised on the Fox Sports Network.

Austin has resurrected the Mountaineers' offense after switching to running back and splitting time between there and receiver.

"No matter where he is, he's a pain in the butt that you have to account for," Weis said.

In snapping a five-game skid, WVU was aided by a healthy Shawne Alston, and Weis said that makes WVU as potent as any team in the conference.

"A smash-mouth guy and an absolute burner makes that offense very, very dynamic," Weis said.



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