Tevin Bush making larger impact despite fewer touches

West Virginia running back Tevin Bush (14) reels off a 79-yard run against Baylor during Thursday’s 58-14 win


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Some 19 days since limping out of the Kansas game with a shin injury, Tevin Bush returned to action for No. 13 West Virginia against Baylor and made the most of his two touches.

In the first quarter the 5-foot-6 receiver gained 13 yards after taking a Jet sweep touch pass from Will Grier in the shotgun.

Bush later went in motion again — this time with Grier under center — and took a Fly sweep handoff for 79 yards.

“Just a different presentation,” offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said after the Mountaineers rolled to a 58-14 win.

When Bush played running back last season as a freshman, he gained 96 yards on 24 touches. As a slot receiver this season, he has 203 yards on 10 touches.

“He’s got some speed, obviously, and some twitch where he can give us that spark when we get it to him out there in space,” Spavital said.

On the 79-yard gain against Baylor, Bush motioned left to right and was full-speed upon taking the handoff. He angled toward the right edge where West Virginia had double tight ends — Trevon Wesco and Jovanni Haskins — blocking against lighter defensive backs.

“When Tevin finds that crease he can hit and he can move good,” Spavital said. “He slipped right in between Wesco and Haskins’ blocks.”

Bush was nipped from behind at the 1-yard line, denying his second career touchdown. The first score came against Kansas State when he caught a wheel route for 62 yards.

Averaging more than 20 yards per touch, Bush forces defenses to account for him — even if the touches come sporadically.

“You see his package keeps evolving,” Spavital said. “He’s a dynamic player and he’s also a diversion, too.”


West Virginia reserve quarterback Jack Allison (11) throws a touchdown pass against Baylor on Thursday night.


Allison all arm, no leg

With WVU leading 51-14, Jack Allison’s 36-yard pass to Gary Jennings on the opening play of the fourth quarter became the backup quarterback’s first career touchdown.

It marked the final play of the game for the other offensive starters.

“We thought Jack deserved to go at least one drive with the ones, so we didn’t sub anybody out,” Spavital said.

“We knew they’d be in a Cover 2. Jack did a great play fake. The footwork was great — I was watching him pretty critically — and he held that back-side safety with his eyes and delivered a good ball.”

Allison held his follow-through pose on the pass and glimpsed over at Spavital on the sideline.

The coordinator’s reaction was far different later in garbage time, when the lanky Allison timidly kept an option read and was blasted by safety Christian Morgan.

“Boy, he got smoked,” Spavital said. “I was laughing so hard. I thought he broke both his legs for a second, but he said he was good.”

The team’s presumed quarterback for 2019, Allison netted 43 yards on 4-for-4 passing.

“I wouldn’t recommend him keeping his own reads, though,” advised head coach Dana Holgorsen. “He about got split in half.”

All eyes on Texas

Saturday brings an off day for West Virginia players, and several plan to be watching next week’s opponent when No. 6 Texas visits Oklahoma State.

“Sometimes on that TV copy you can’t see the back-end stuff, so I’ll probably just watch it as a fan,” receiver David Sills said. “Then Sunday we’ll get after them and dig into who they really are.”

Already given an extra two days of preparation, Holgorsen doesn’t mind the Longhorns kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern in Stillwater.

“They’re on the road Saturday night so it could be an advantage for us,” he said. “We’ll take every one we can get.”

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