During the week leading up to Texas’ matchup against the Mountaineers, Tom Herman mentioned that in addition to keeping West Virginia’s offense off the field, the Longhorns would need to score points.
“I don’t think anyone is kidding themselves thinking this is going to be, you know, a 10-3 ballgame.”
Herman was right.
West Virginia put up 348 yards of total offense in the first half, but it was a two-point conversion with :16 left in the game that sealed a 42-41 victory for the Mountaineers. With the loss, the Longhorns fell out of first place in the Big 12 standings and no longer control their own destiny in the conference race leading up to the Big 12 Championship Game on December 1st.
Despite the loss, Tom Herman knows there is still a lot of football to be played and anything can happen, especially in the Big 12.
“The silver lining is that we play in the Big 12, and everybody plays everybody. We’re not out of any race at this point. We certainly don’t control our own destiny. We need a couple things to happen.”
The Longhorns were without starting safety Brandon Jones, who injured his ankle in what Tom Herman called a “freak deal” at the team hotel this morning.
West Virginia kicker Evan Staley hit from 45 yards out on the game’s opening drive to give the Mountaineers a quick 3-0 lead over the Longhorns. Texas cornerback Davante Davis suffered a shoulder injury on the drive and wouldn’t return.
The Longhorns scored their first points on their second offensive possession, with quarterback Sam Ehlinger taking the snap and punching it in from a yard out. The score was setup by a 23-yard pass from Ehlinger to Humphrey, in which Ehlinger threw off his back foot while being pressured by the Mountaineer defensive front.
On West Virginia’s ensuing drive, Will Grier would loft a 60-yard pass to David Sills V to give the Mountaineers a 10-7 lead. Sills was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for making the “Horns Down” sign after the touchdown. West Virginia left tackle Yodny Cajuste was subsequently ejected on the extra point attempt after pushing a Texas player.
With 1:50 left in the first quarter Ehlinger found Humphrey again, this time for 21 yards and a touchdown, giving the Longhorns a 14-10 lead over the Mountaineers.
Grier and Sills connected again for the first points of the quarter, with Sills catching an over-the-shoulder pass as he shook off Texas cornerback Josh Thompson. West Virginia led Texas 17-14 at the 14:49 mark.
Texas and West Virginia then traded rushing scores, with Tre Watson rumbling in from 5 yards out and Martell Pettaway busting open a 55-yard carry into the Texas end zone. Watson followed up his touchdown on the ground with one in the air, catching a 32-yard pass from Ehlinger and bouncing off defenders into the left corner of the West Virginia end zone.
Evan Staley cut the Texas lead to 28-27 with a 44-yard field goal with :09 left in the half.
The lone scoring drive in the third quarter belonged to Texas at the 2:55 mark. Cameron Dicker kicked his first field goal of the afternoon, from 22 yards out, to extend the Texas lead to 31-27.
Dicker connected again in the fourth quarter from 38 yards, giving the Longhorns a 34-27 advantage with 9:38 remaining.
West Virginia running back Martell Pettaway’s 13-yard touchdown run would notch the score at 34-34 at the 5:40 mark in the 4th quarter.
With 2:34 left Sam Ehlinger found Devin Duvernay for a 48-yard touchdown and what appeared to be the game-winning score. West Virginia reacted quickly, with Will Grier hitting Gary Jennings in the Texas end zone to bring the Mountaineers within one point of the Longhorns.
Instead of kicking the extra point to tie, Dana Holgorsen went for two.
After three consecutive timeouts, Grier took the snap and found the end zone with :16 left.
Time would run out as Texas’ attempt at a comeback fell short.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another. Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Devin Duvernay each surpassed the 100-yard mark in receiving and caught touchdown passes, with Humphrey’s 143 yards being a best among all receivers on both teams. Duvernay caught six passes for 100 yards.
Will Grier continued his Heisman campaign, passing for 3 touchdowns and 346 yards with no interceptions. West Virginia running back Martell Pettaway had a big game on the ground, rushing for 121 yards on 9 carries. The Mountaineers rushing attack gouged the Longhorns for a total of 232 yards with a 7 yards per carry average.
The Longhorns fall to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play.
Texas heads to Lubbock next week to take on Texas Tech.
- Longhorns are now 3-5 all-time against West Virginia
- Davante Davis suffered a shoulder and neck sprain, Breckyn Hager dislocated his elbow and Marqez Bimage dislocated his shoulder in the loss
- Ehlinger’s three passing touchdowns against West Virginia are a career high
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s 143 receiving yards are a career high
- Today’s attendance of 100,703 marked the second sellout of the season
- Moro Ojomo and Keondre Coburn made their season debuts and became the 22nd and 23rd Longhorns to debut this season
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Devin Duvernay became the first pair of receivers to have 100 receiving yards since Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley did it in 2013 against BYU
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