MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – At the first quarter’s conclusion during the WVU-Texas game on Nov. 20, the WVU Athletic Department welcomed the 2011 Big East and 2012 Orange Bowl Champions to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.
During West Virginia’s final season as a member of the Big East, these players concluded the season with a 10-3 record, the sixth Big East Conference Championship in school history, and a dominant 70-33 defeat of the Clemson Tigers in the 2012 Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fl. This bowl game tied or broke eight separate team and individual bowl game records, including the most points ever scored in a bowl game.
Prior to such a bowl showing, that 10-3 season included wins over Marshall, Norfolk State, Maryland, Bowling Green, UConn, Rutgers, No. 23 Cincinnati, Pitt, and USF. Three losses to No. 2 LSU, Syracuse, and Louisville paled in comparison to that season’s successes.
Quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Stedman Bailey, then a sophomore, set a new school passing record of 4,102 yards and 11 touchdowns; 1,197 were attributed to Bailey. Additionally, the Mountaineers put up 30+ points in eight games, 40+ points in four games, and 50+ against Norfolk State (55-12) and Bowling Green (55-10).