CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- With one of its best players in a sling, Virginia made like Houdini in a straitjacket.
Wali Lundy scored four touchdowns as the Cavaliers used a series of trick plays to bury 13th-ranked West Virginia, 48-22, in the inaugural Continental Tire Bowl.
The Cavaliers (9-5) had fewer first downs and total yards than the Mountaineers (9-4) but forced the game's only two turnovers and returned a punt for a touchdown in snapping a four-game bowl losing streak.
Virginia also lost star receiver Billy McMullen, who suffered a dislocated elbow in the opening 2 1/2 minutes. He sat on the bench in a sling as his team scored 28 points in the first half.
"Whatever obstacles and adversity the team had in front of them, they were able to succeed," Cavaliers coach Al Groh said. "We lost one of the best players that's ever played in this conference, and our guys just went back out and played."
Virginia tied the game at 7-7 on a reverse option pass for a touchdown, then threw in a reverse and flea-flicker on its next possession and a number of unorthodox plays the rest of the day.
"They are a great team," West Virginia running back Quincy Wilson said. "They were flying around."
Lundy was on the receiving end of Marques Hagans' TD pass off a reverse and added another scoring catch and two touchdown runs. Hagans also had a 69-yard punt return for a score as Virginia built a 28-10 halftime lead.
The Mountaineers grabbed a 10-7 edge late in the first quarter on Avon Cobourne's six-yard touchdown run but allowed the next 31 points and fell to 10-13 in the postseason.
"It is a bad way to end a good year," coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It's a shame we didn't show our true team today and did not execute well. We can learn from today and be ready for next year."
West Virginia still had a six-win improvement from last season. Both teams had surprising second-place finishes in their respective conferences.
"The only thing better than having two second-place teams would be having two first-place teams," Groh said.
Things looked bleak early for the Cavaliers, who lost McMullen 2:29 into the game. The two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection had 68 catches for 886 yards during the regular season but just one reception for eight yards Saturday.
"He has kind of been the heart of our team for a while and we just went on and played," Groh said. "This says a lot about the players' reliance on each other."
Virginia rallied behind its injured wideout, using a series of trick plays to stay in the game, then dominate it.
Hagans started the show by running in motion to the left, taking a lateral from quarterback Matt Schaub and throwing a 14-yard TD pass across the field to Lundy to tie it at 7-7 with 4:06 left in the first quarter.
"It was a good play call," Lundy said. "I was just hoping I could catch the ball. When you're that wide open, you have to concentrate and let the ball come to you."
After Cobourne's touchdown run, the Cavaliers used a 15-play, 70-yard drive to take the lead for good. Schaub's one-yard run 4:48 into the second quarter made it 14-10.
On the drive, Virginia surprised the Mountaineers with a reverse, a flea-flicker and three draws by Schaub, who was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year after passing for a school-record 2,794 yards and a conference-best 27 touchdowns.
"We viewed this like a playoff game, where if you lose, you go home and don't play for a long time," Groh said.
Hagans made it 21-10 midway through the second quarter, when he fielded a punt, ran right, broke a tackle and sprinted 69 yards up the middle of the field.
"That was a big issue," Groh said. "That really stretched the margin and gave us a greater level of separation. It really changed the momentum and helped us keep rolling."
West Virginia then tried a trick play of its own - a reverse option pass that turned into an interception. Virginia scored on the ensuing drive as Lundy found the end zone from four yards for a 28-10 lead with 19 seconds left in the half.
The Cavaliers continued to turn it on in the third quarter as Schaub threw a 48-yard TD pass to Lundy and Connor Hughes kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 38-10 cushion 8:12 into the half.
Lundy capped the scoring on a 31-yard run with 3:48 left in the game. He carried 22 times for 127 yards and added five receptions for 76 yards.
"I always expect the best out of myself and I always think I can do more," he said. "I think I did a lot to help the team this year."
Schaub completed 16-of-22 passes for 182 yards and ran seven times for 39 yards. Many expect him to be a Heisman Trophy candidate next season.
"That's fine, but I don't think much about it," he said. "All that matters is winning and what happens between the lines."
Rasheed Marshall was 12-of-18 for 215 yards for West Virginia, which had 459 yards of total offense to 391 for Virginia. Cobourne carried 25 times for 117 yards and two scores.