West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen figures people will now believe his Mountaineers are for real after they dominated Florida, 26-6, in the 14th annual Peach Bowl today.
"Not many people felt like we had a chance in this game . . . thank goodness our team never felt like that," said Nehlen.
The Gators had been favored by 11 points in in the nationally televised contest. (In some circles, the game was described as "the Lock of the Year" for those betting the Gators.)
It didn't quite work out that way, though, as tailback Mickey Walczak caught one touchdown pass and ran for another, freshman walk-on Paul Woodside kicked four field goals and West Virginia's defense dominated Florida.
Woodside, from Falls Church, Va., took over the kicking only three games before the end of the regular season. He kicked second-period field goals of 35, 42 and 49 yards and added a 24-yarder in the third quarter to set a Peach Bowl record.
Quarterback Oliver Luck drove West Virginia 77 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a seven-yard pass to Walczak in the end zone, midway through the first quarter.
Walczak scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter to end a 59-yard drive in which he carried the ball five times for 36 yards. He also set a Peach Bowl record for pass receptions, catching eight passes for 75 yards. He was named the game's outstanding offensive player.