Overwhelming defense, the kicking of Paul Woodside and passing of Jeff Hostetler carried 13th-ranked West Virginia past Virginia Tech, 16-6, today before a record crowd of 52,300 in Lane Stadium.
It was the largest crowd ever to see a sporting event in the state.
Hostetler, a transfer from Penn State, completed 20 of 35 attempts for 198 yards, including the game's only touchdown, in the first quarter.
Woodside, a sophomore from Falls Church, scored the rest of West Virginia's points, making the conversion and field goals of 44, 17 and 35 yards despite cold, windy conditions.
After one miss today, Woodside has been successful on 16 of 18 field-goal attempts. The Mountaineers are 5-1 this season, and play host Saturday to eighth-ranked Penn State.
A 23-mph wind and 32-degree wind chill factor made the game difficult for offensive players, especially Woodside. He was the first Mountaineer player out of the locker room for warmups. About the wind, Woodside said, "I just like to see which way it's going so I can make adjustments. I had a 61-yarder before the game with the wind."
Each team punted nine times and Virginia Tech (3-3), playing without injured tailback Cyrus Lawrence, made only three first downs in the second half. The Hokies' points came on field goals by Don Wade.
Virginia Tech lost three fumbles and they led to all but one of the West Virginia scores.
The game was scoreless until West Virginia recovered the ball at the Tech 20 on a bizarre punt late in the first quarter. The Mountaineers scored the game's only touchdown five plays later when Hostetler completed a 10-yard pass to a diving Wayne Brown.
The fumble came about when Steve Superick lined a low punt toward the sideline, and the ball hit Tech's Bob Thomas in the back as he sprinted downfield. West Virginia's Scott Dixon recovered the ball, and Hostetler, on a rollout right, threw the touchdown pass to Brown.
"It had to take a great throw, and he made a great catch," said Hostetler. "That wind is really something. I've played in it a dozen times, and you don't know where the ball is going to go."
After a short kickoff into the wind, Tech started from its 39 and drove to the West Virginia 20 before Wade kicked a 37-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
It appeared that Tech would trail by one point at halftime after Wade's second field goal, a 27-yarder, with 3:45 left in the half.
Starting from his 29, Hostetler completed passes of 12 yards to wide receiver Darrell Miller and 31 yards to tight end Mike Raugh. This set up Woodside's first field goal, from 44 yards, with 1:20 left.
On the Hokies' first play following the kickoff, defensive tackle Todd Campbell sacked Greenwood, and nose guard Jim Merritts recovered the ball at the Tech 9. On fourth down, Woodside made a 17-yarder with two seconds left to play for a 13-6 lead.
The second half was dominated by defense, led by West Virginia linebacker Darryl Talley, who had 12 tackles today, 10 unassisted.