AUSTIN, Texas - Apparently, you can mess with Texas after all.
On Saturday night, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith did.
His leading receivers, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, did.
Surprisingly, Mountaineer tailback Andrew Buie did.
And No. 8 WVU, a touchdown underdog, stunned the largest crowd - 101,851 - to ever watch a game at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium by a 48-45 count.
That's saying something.
Too, the Mountaineers not only stunned the crowd, the oddsmakers and many analysts by the final score, but by the modus operandi.
Deep in the heart of Texas, WVU's Smith wasn't the lone star.
Oh, he almost put a death grip on the Heisman Trophy, completing 25 of 35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns to go with - again - zero interceptions.
Who, though, but WVU coach Dana Holgorsen and his coaching staff ever imagined Buie could be the biggest star on one of the Mountaineers' biggest stage performances ever?
He was supposed to be a liability. Shawne Alston, the big bruising back, was out. Instead, Buie shined under the Texas stars, gaining 207 yards.
What do you know . . . West Virginia belongs with the big boys. And it's known during the season.
In the past, WVU fans and college football fans across the nation didn't know until the season's end. The Mountaineers showed their mettle in past bowl games. But within Big East and independent play, there was always that doubt until the finish line.
On Saturday, with the burnt orange Longhorn logo at midfield, the Mountaineers erased all doubt. One of the newest members of the Big 12 belongs.
And, hey, I thought we, the media, were the Fourth Estate.
Turns out the Mountaineers were. Or, rather, the Fourth Down Estate. West Virginia was 5 of 5 on the evening on fourth, not third, downs.
"It was frustrating," said Texas end Alex Okafor. "But a lot were fourth-and-short [situations]. That's hard to stop."
Especially with WVU's vaunted offense.