The Longhorns travel to Morgantown to face off with a much different West Virginia team than in 2018. For starters, the Mountaineers have a new coach. After Dana Holgorsen left for Houston, the Mountaineers hired Neal Brown from Troy University. In addition, the Mountaineers lost a multitude of key players, including Will Grier and David Sills V. The Mountaineers replaced Grier with graduate transfer Austin Kendall, who has gotten off to a slow start this season. After losing in heartbreaking fashion in 2018, the Longhorns look to get back on track and remain undefeated in conference away openers under Tom Herman.
Texas enters Saturday’s contest favored by more than 11 points on the road. And when these two teams play one another, it is always a brawl. This year West Virginia is rebuilding – with a new head coach, losing players to the NFL, and trying to find their identity on both sides of the ball… but they will still manage to get up and fight against the Longhorns. For Texas, this season is different in that they have a maturity they haven’t held in many years. Like they proved against Oklahoma State, they find ways to win games they are supposed to win. I think this same tenet holds true in Morgantown. Ehlinger and Duvernay will lead the Texas offense to a win, and the Longhorns will have a 100+ yard rusher en route to their second-straight road win against the Mountaineers.
Prediction: Texas 42, West Virginia 31
The word trap game is thrown around often, but it an appropriate phrase to use with the Longhorns heading to Morgantown. Texas knows they have Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl next week, while West Virginia has nothing to lose playing at home under a first-year coach. Both teams will have the benefit of a bye week last week, which likely benefits Texas more considering how banged up the Longhorns have been. The spread for this game currently sits around Texas -11, meaning even the oddsmakers aren’t expecting the Longhorns to run away with this one. It wouldn’t surprise me if West Virginia made the game interesting, but I’ll say Texas pulls away late and wins by a couple of TD’s.
Prediction: Texas 35, West Virginia 21
West Virginia. The trap game of all trap games. Sure, this Mountaineer team is not what it has been in previous years, but Morgantown is still Morgantown at the end of the day. It will be important for Texas to quiet that rambunctious crowd very early to avoid a less than ideal outcome. I’m curious to see how this depleted secondary comes out only a week before they go up against Jalen Hurts and the OU offense. I see Texas handling this game with ease but with some questions still left to be answered in the secondary.
Prediction: Texas 41 West Virginia 21
In what will be their first true road game of the season, Texas may struggle to get going. Flat or conservative performances on the road against an underdog have been known to happen under Tom Herman. However, the obvious difference in this year’s team is their stability and even-keeled nature. Not much has bothered them to this point, whether it’s injuries or in-game mishaps. West Virginia, at least on paper, isn’t currently built to beat a team like Texas. Even if the score ends up being closer than most would like, I expect Texas to be in control for the majority of the game.
Prediction: Texas 34, West Virginia 20
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