News:Tavon Austin carried 12 times for 77 yards and a touchdown, and caught four passes for 110 yards in WVU's win against Kansas on Saturday.
Analysis:Tavon Austin wrapped up his West Virginia career with an exceptional senior season that saw him put up gaudy numbers in the passing, rushing and return games.
News:Tavon Austin carried 14 times for 75 yards, and caught six passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in WVU's win at Iowa State on Friday. He also scored a 2-pt conversion.
Analysis:Tavon Austin got some work as a running back for the second straight game. He has become a true triple-threat player because he can score fantasy points running, receiving and in the return game.
News:Tavon Austin carried 22 times for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and caught four passes for 81 yards in West Virginia's loss against Oklahoma on Saturday.
Analysis: In a bit of twist, Tavon Austin spent the majority of his night at running back, and the change sparked a career day for the multi-talented wideout.
News:Tavon Austin caught 11 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in West Virginia's loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday. He also ran for 14 yards and lost a fumble.
Analysis: After catching just five passes against K-State on Oct. 20, Tavon Austin has had back-to-back 11-catch games.
News:Tavon Austin caught a team-high 11 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, and also returned a punt for a touchdown in WVU's loss against TCU on Saturday.
Analysis:Tavon Austin was really the only bright spot for the Mountaineers on offense. Not only can you pencil him in for double-digit receptions, but he's always a threat to score on special teams.
News:Tavon Austin caught five passes for 30 yards and scored on a 5-yard run in West Virginia's loss to Kansas State on Saturday. He also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score.
Analysis:Tavon Austin was the lone bright spot for the Mountaineers on Saturday.
WVU's Austin Breaks 100-Yard Barrier Against Texas Tech
News:Tavon Austin caught a team-high nine passes for 114 yards in West Virginia's loss at Texas Tech on Saturday.
Analysis: It was the first game this season where Tavon Austin failed to catch at least 10 passes. However he still broke 100 yards, and had a pretty nice day.
News:Tavon Austin caught a team-high 10 passes for a team-high 102 yards and one touchdown in West Virginia's win at Texas on Saturday.
Analysis:Tavon Austin has had double-digit receptions in all five games this season.
West Virginia's Austin Grabs Three TDs Against Maryland
News:Tavon Austin caught a game-high 13 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns in West Virginia's 31-21 win against Maryland on Saturday.
Analysis:Tavon Austin has had double-digits receptions in every game this season. He's also caught at least one touchdown in every game.
News:Tavon Austin caught 10 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown in WVU's win over Marshall on Saturday. He also ran three times for 67 yards.
Analysis:Tavon Austin is going to haul in a lot of passes every week, but his downfall is finding the end zone. Hopefully for fantasy owners, Austin's TD production continues for the rest of the season.
West Virginia's Austin Makes Slight Move to New Receiver Position
News:Tavon Austin will play a different inside receiver position than he did in 2011, the reports.
Analysis: The move is subtle, but it is aimed at getting Tavon Austin closer to the ball. If the move pays off, Austin could end up getting even more looks than his 101-catch 2011 campaign.
News: West Virginia wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey continued their move up the school record books. Austin caught 10 passes for 102 yards and Bailey caught three for 80 yards and a score in the Mountaineers' 21-20 win over Pittsburgh.
Analysis: Austin adds value with his special teams play, and Bailey has proven to be a good fantasy option as well.
News: West Virginia wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey both put up more than 100 yards receiving in the Mountaineers' 24-21 win over Cincinnati. Bailey caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown and has gone over 100 yards in eight of the last nine games. Austin accounted for 126 yards on nine catches.
Analysis: Counting return yards Austin accounted for more than 200 yards on the day, and his ability in both the passing and return games make him a solid fantasy option. Bailey would also be a solid pickup if available.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey and running back Shawne Alston each scored two touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 38-35 loss to Louisville. Bailey caught eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns while Alston rushed for 45 yards and two scores on 18 carries.
Analysis:Tavon Austin was also a factor as he caught seven passes for 90 yards and a score. But it wasn't enough to beat a Louisville team that made the big plays when they needed to.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin played well in the snow on Saturday, accounting for more than 150 yards of offense in the Mountaineers' 41-31 win at Rutgers. Austin rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on two carries while also leading WVU with eight receptions for 67 yards and another touchdown.
Analysis: The offensive numbers for many players were down due to the heavy snow, so look for even better things from West Virginia's biggest offensive threat.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey led the way in the Mountaineers' 49-23 loss at Syracuse, catching seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. The next-best receiver in both receptions and yards was Tavon Austin, who caught six passes for 60 yards.
Analysis: Bailey's been the most consistent wide receiver for WVU, accounting for 100 yards or more in each of the last five games. On the season Bailey has 41 receptions for 764 yards and six touchdowns.
News: While head coach Dana Holgorsen still has some issues with the West Virginia offense, one player who has stepped up is wide receiver Stedman Bailey. Bailey has tallied a school record four 100-yard receiving games this season, and he's on pace to shatter the school's single-season receiving yards record.
Analysis: Bailey, Tavon Austin and Ivan McCartney have been the best performers for the Mountaineers, and it would be wise to grab any available in your fantasy league at this point.
News: While many have become enamored with the way in which West Virginia has produced on offense, head coach Dana Holgorsen doesn't feel the same way. The coach referred to his wide receivers as "average", despite the fact that their production is on par with prior Holgorsen-coached offenses.
Analysis: This seems to be more about making sure players such as quarterback Geno Smith and the receiving corps led by Tavon Austin don't get complacent. Syracuse should be on full alert for Friday night's contest.
News: Even with the contributors that West Virginia has at wide receiver there's always room for someone else to step up and earn playing time. Enter senior Bradley Starks, who hasn't been able to do much to crack the rotation. But going into the bye week he's beginning to earn the trust of the coaches, which could be a good sign for the second half of the year.
Analysis:Stedman Bailey (Big East Offensive Player of the Week), Tavon Austin and Ivan McCartney have been the standouts thus far, but there's room for Starks to have an impact. He was alongside Austin returning kicks on Saturday, and it could be the start of bigger things for Starks.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey posted his fourth consecutive game of 100 receiving yards or more, catching seven passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns against UConn. Tavon Austin (7 for 74, 1 TD) and Ivan McCartney (6 for 131) were also productive for the Mountaineers.
Analysis: The new offense gives WVU wide receivers plenty of chances, and Bailey's been one to take full advantage of it. Look for him to continue to put up numbers as the season wears on.
News: West Virginia wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey both accounted for 100 yards but it wasn't enough in a 47-21 loss to LSU. Austin caught a team-high 11 passes for 187 yards, and Bailey caught eight passes for 115 and a touchdown. Tyler Urban caught Geno Smith's other touchdown pass.
Analysis: Austin's been playing with a broken finger on his left hand, and a screw's been placed in that finger. But he's still a good play in most leagues as the finger hasn't really hindered him.
News: Three different West Virginia receivers went over 100 yards receiving in their win at Maryland, reportedly the first time in school history that has happened. Tavon Austin (11 catches for 122 yards), Stedman Bailey (8 for 113, 1 TD) and Ivan McCartney (8 for 101) all passed the 100-yard mark.
Analysis: The production at receiver was one expected benefit of Dana Holgorsen's system, and that's certainly been the case the last two weeks. It will be interesting to see if WVU can get it done again against LSU next week.
News: West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen revealed on Monday that wide receiver Tavon Austin had some work done on a finger that was injured in the win over Norfolk State. Coach Holgorsen said that it could have been dislocated, but Austin will be able to play on Saturday at Maryland.
Analysis: Austin and Ivan McCartney lead the Mountaineers with 10 receptions apiece, and his ability in the return game makes Austin an attractive option in many fantasy leagues.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Devon Brown played well in a 55-12 win over Norfolk State, catching four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are the primary receiving options, but there's room for a player like Brown to step up and earn more opportunities to shine.
Analysis: Austin and Bailey are the best receiving options from a fantasy standpoint, but keep an eye on Brown to see if he can consistently show up.
News: West Virginia wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney led the way on Sunday, catching five passes and a touchdown apiece in the 34-13 win over Marshall. Bailey led the way with 76 yards while McCartney's receptions accounted for 31 yards. Devon Brown caught four passes for 42 yards.
Analysis:Tavon Austin caught three passes for 32 yards but he did not have a very good game from a receiving standpoint. However he was very good in the return game, returning a kickoff 100 yards while also averaging 15.3 yards per punt return.
News: Two of the important position battles for West Virginia as they approach preparation week for Marshall are two of the four wide receiver spots. Devon Brown and Tyler Urban are competing for the second inside receiver job while Ryan Nehlen and Ivan McCartney battle for the "Z" receiver spot.
Analysis:Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey look to be in good shape for two spots, and at the very least, the Mountaineers know that they'll have some depth to look to in case of injuries.
News: Over the course of the last 6 months it has become clear that Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are West Virginia's top two receivers. "Stedman has been playing really, really well,” coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Tavon has been playing well and Devon Brown and Tyler Urban are battling it out. They’re two different (types of players) but we’re figuring it out. We’ll figure out who does what well and get them into the game. But they’re a solid 1-2 there. (Ryan) Nehlen and (Ivan McCartney) have been really battling back and forth – that one’s been one of the more fun ones to watch.”
Analysis: Austin and Bailey should be the first two WVU receivers off the board on draft daft. After that, everyone else is a gamble. Brown and Nehlen would be my picks for the remaining starting spots.
News: West Virginia transfer receiver Devon Brown has wasted no time making a strong impression in camp. "Brown is turning heads and garnering praise from coaches and players alike," writes Goeff Coyle of West Virginia Illustrated.
Analysis: As soon as Brown signed with the Mountaineers, we assumed Tyler Urban's days in the starting lineup were numbered, and that looks to be the case. A starting unit of Brown (inside), Tavon Austin (inside), Stedman Bailey (outside) and Ryan Nehlen (outside) looks like it is starting to take shape.
News: West Virginia wide receiver Ryan Nehlen has been one of the bright spots in camp thus far, and if he continues on his current track the junior should earn significant playing time. While many know Ryan as the grandson of WVU coaching great Don Nehlen right now, that should change come September.
Analysis: Nehlen may not be as explosive as a Tavon Austin but he's been very productive in camp. Players who haven't performed well, such as Bradley Starks, need to pick things up if they don't want to lose in-game reps to Nehlen.
News: One of the players expected to be a factor at inside wide receiver for West Virginia is Willie Milhouse, who is currently behind Tavon Austin on the depth chart at one of those two positions. Milhouse transferred to WVU after three seasons as a defensive back at Duquesne.
Analysis: Milhouse caught six passes for 98 yards in the spring game, and as he remains solid the chances for him to make plays should increase.
News: It's been a long time since West Virginia has scored a touchdown on a punt return...2006 to be exact. But the end of that streak could come this season thanks to junior wide receiver Tavon Austin, who has already worked as a kick returner during his career in Morgantown. Head coach Dana Holgorsen wants more from the return game and that could very well happen in 2011.
Analysis: Despite the number of talented athletes who have gone through the program they haven't seen the results in the punt return game. If that changes, along with the expected offensive improvement, look out.
News: Three Big East players were named to the preseason watch list for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, an award given to the nation's most versatile football player. Awarded by the Louisville Sports Commission, the Hornung Award is only in its second year of existence with Stanford's Owen Marecic winning it last year. The Big East players on the list are: RB Ray Graham (Pittsburgh), WR Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers) and WR D.J. Woods (Cincinnati).
Analysis: The three Big East players on the list come as no surprise, but one has to wonder why WVU's Tavon Austin didn't make the cut. In the new offensive system, combined with his ability to return kicks, Austin should flourish in Morgantown this season.
News: ESPN recently put out a video chronicling the "next big player" for each conference. James White pulled it down for the Big Ten and should be even more of a star as he slices and dices through opposing defenses. For the ACC, it is stud running back David Wilson who should shine as the main man now that Darren Evans and Ryan Williams are gone. It is hard to call Chris Polk the "next" big player as he has rushed for over 1,000 yards the last two years but he represents the PAC-12. Now that he is healthy, the Big 12's next big thing is tailback Christine Michael. Receivers Tavon Austin and Trovon Reed represent the Big East and SEC, respectively.
Analysis: All of these players should be household names by midseason with White teaming with Montee Ball to spearhead the vaunted Badger ground game. Wilson will be the workhorse in Blacksburg and will display his speed, power, and receiving ability. Polk will shoulder even more of the load as the Huskies break in new quarterback. Michael will still split carries with Cyrus Gray but is too good to keep off the field. With Dana Holgorsen around, Austin should explode. Reed was supposed to breakout last year but redshirted and is now ready for the limelight.
News: After catching a team-high 58 passes last season, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin is concerned with becoming the go-to guy for triggerman Geno Smith. "The 'H' position is the wide receiver position they throw to a lot [in Holgorsen's offense]. And I'll get reverses and stuff like that. Hopefully, I'll be the go-to guy."
Analysis: Austin should be the go-to guy and should be a lock for over 1,000 yards receiving. With Dana Holgorsen installing his high octane offense and the sheer dynamic ability of Austin, the Mountaineers should consistently light up the scoreboard.
News: Austin says he believes West Virginia can "have two or three [wide receivers] in the 1,000-yard receiver mark" in 2011, telling ESPN.com, "All of us can catch the ball and make things happen after the catch."
Analysis: Expectations are high this season with Dana Holgorsen taking over as head coach of the Mountaineers, but that quarterback Geno Smith and Austin have been named to this year's Pony Express Award watch list speaks of the potential many believe Holgorsen's Air Raid brings to Morgantown in 2011.
News: With the installation of a new pass-heavy offense, wide receiver Tavon Austin has some big expectations for himself and his teammates. "I think we can have two or three of us in the 1,000-yard receiver mark", said Austin. That shouldn't be too hard for Austin who reeled in 58 catches for 787 yards and eight scores last season.
Analysis: Austin should easily eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Whoever steps up and becomes another consistent target for Geno Smith will most likely join him at that plateau. My money is on Stedman Bailey who is a speedster on the outside. Bailey has played inside and outside receiver so he should rarely leave the field and has a nice rapport with Smith.
News: ![CDATA[Six Big East players were named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award last week, an award annually given to the nation's top wide receiver. The players on the watch list are: Tavon Austin (West Virginia), Van Chew (Syracuse), Mark Harrison (Rutgers), Mike Shanahan (Pittsburgh), Michael Smith (Connecticut) and D.J. Woods (Cincinnati)
Analysis: The last Big East receiver to win the Biletnikoff was Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald, who won the award back in 2003. However, Smith will not win the award as he will redshirt after being declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season.
News: After weeks of turmoil, West Virginia has made it official: Bill Stewart has "resigned" and Dana Holgorsen will take over as head coach a year earlier than planned.
Analysis: The only person that appears to be shocked that this arranged marriage didn't work is athletic director Oliver Luck. Luck had hoped the transition from Stewart to Holgorsen would go as smoothly as the coach-in-waiting scenarios at Wisconsin and Oregon. Big difference, Mike Bellotti and Barry Alvarez WANTED to retire.
News: The Sporting News reports that West Virginia is in the process of buying out the contract of coach Bill Stewart, and this would clear the way for Dana Holgorsen to take over the team a year ahead of schedule.
Analysis: With the recent reports of dissension on the coaching staff and the reports of a "smear campaign" arranged by Stewart, it would appear that this is the only real solution to what could be a toxic situation in Morgantown. Now Holgorsen just needs to stay out of the area casinos and maybe WVU can actually focus on football.
News: Per the NCAA rule that permits graduate students to transfer if they do so for a post-graduate program that is not offered at their former schools, the Mountaineers just received two new football players. Linebacker Steve Paskorsz from Notre Dame and wide receiver Devon Brown from Wake Forest are the new additions. Brown is a speedy receiver who led the Deacons in receptions the past two years.
Analysis: Brown just became an interesting fantasy sleeper as he had 100 catches for 973 yards and seven touchdowns in the last two seasons. Brown also rushed for 284 yards and three more scores in those years.
WVU's Austin May / May Not Move to Backfield in 2011
News: Dana Holgorsen, new offensive coordinator for West Virginia, tells the Daily Athenaeum that he may or may not consider using Austin at running back out of the Mountaineers' backfield in 2011.
Analysis: When asked of the likelihood of Austin taking over for the now-departed Noel Devine, Holgorsen stated, "Maybe. I might. We have to see what his skills are." Holgorsen continues: "We have a couple of guys we recruited [Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison] that are Tavon Austin kind of guys. They are light-on-their-feet kind of guys. We won't have them in the spring, but when we them in camp, we'll be able to see."
News: Austin caught six passes for 121 yards and a touchdown against Rutgers on Saturday while running for a 46-yard touchdown.
Analysis: Austin is a major talent with huge upside week-to-week, but he was a bit hit-or-miss in 2010. He'll be a sought after wideout in most leagues in 2011, but he'll need more consistency to leap into the elite tier of receivers.
News: Austin caught one pass for 25 yards Saturday against Louisville.
Analysis: The whole West Virginia offense struggled against the Cardinals so look to see if Austin can get back on track Friday against Pittsburgh.
West Virginia's Austin Snags Two Touchdowns in Win
News: Austin caught two passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns Saturday against Cincinnati. He also rushed twice for 19 yards.
Analysis: Austin has been the Mountaineers' No. 2 receiver all season and is a solid option in Big East only leagues.
News: Austin caught five passes for 47 yards and rushed for 22 yards on two carries Thursday against South Florida.
Analysis: Austin has been one of the top playmakers for the Mountaineers and remains a solid option at wide receiver.
News: Austin caught three passes for 52 yards and rushed two times for 19 yards Saturday against UNLV.
Analysis: The Mountaineers got out to a huge lead so Austin didn't get many chances to produce in the second half. Look for him to bounce back Thursday against South Florida.
News: Austin was held to three catches and 33 yards Saturday in West Virginia's loss at LSU.
Analysis: Austin has been having a strong season, so just chalk this one up to running into a great defense.
Austin Hauls in Two Touchdowns in West Virginia Win
News: Austin caught seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in West Virginia's win 31-17 win against Maryland.
Analysis: Austin has developed a great rapport with Geno Smith and is a strong option at wide receiver.
News: Austin caught five passes for 90 yards in West Virginia's win over Coastal Carolina. He also had two carries for 11 yards.
Analysis: It was unsure wether Austin would remain at receiver this year or back up Noel Devine at running back, but it looks like he will be the second receiving option behind Jock Sanders making him potentially valuable in Big East only leagues.
West Virginia's Austin Weighing Permanent Move to WR
News: Austin says that the move made this year from running back to wide receiver could be a permanent one, the Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: Austin, regarded as the tailback of the future for WVU once Noel Devine departs, says that though his heart is at running back, if he learns to play wideout well enough this season, he could see himself staying at receiver a) because he wouldn't take as much of a beating and b) playing receiver gets him into space faster. "If I master this position, if I see that I can play it this year," Austin says, "I wouldn't be that mad if I don't go back to running back next year." "I'm just saying," he continues, "if I get good enough out there at receiver, and I have to get better, but if I get good enough, yeah, sure, I'd stay out there."