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Longhorns leave Morgantown with 42-31 victory and Horns Up

Photo: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports



The Texas Longhorns (4-1, 2-0) overcame a fast start, a rowdy crowd, and an early lead by the West Virginia Moutaineers (3-2, 2-1), and left Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown with a 42-31 victory. It was Texas’ second straight road win against the Mountaineers and their second conference win of the season.

The Horns down signs flooded the stadium as expected, and there was plenty of pushing and shoving amongst the players inside and outside the whistles, but that didn’t stop the Longhorns from doing their thing. A young and injury-laden secondary picked off West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall four times, allowing Texas to take care of business on the road.

A win is a win, albeit this one looked sloppy and slow at times, but the end result is what matters.  The Longhorns continue to win games they are supposed to win, despite encountering unpredictable adversity – something they had a hard time doing in previous seasons.

Sam Ehlinger continued his push for Heisman candidate consideration, throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 45-yards and two touchdowns. Ehlinger’s top-target, Devin Duvernay, finished with another big day, catching six passes for 86-yards, and rushing for 13 yards and a touchdown.  Sophmore defensive back D’Shawn Jamison registered two interceptions for the Longhorns.

Texas won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving WVU the ball on the opening drive.  Following back-to-back penalties on Texas defensive backs BJ Foster and D’Shawn Jamison, West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall wasted no time in putting points on the board.  On the next play, West Virginia wide receiver Sam James stretched out in the end zone, in front of Texas safety B.J. Foster, to catch Austin Kendall’s 44-yard pass giving the Mountaineers the first points of the game.

On Texas’ first possession, Sam Ehlinger converted on four of five third downs, setting up Cameron Dicker’s 42-yard field goal attempt. Dicker’s kick sailed left of the uprights, allowing West Virginia to take possession at their own 25-yard line.

The Longhorns would immediately get the ball back on Ayodele Adeoye’s interception of Austin Kendall on West Virginia’s first snap. Following a five yard rush by Keaontay Ingram, Ehlinger found Malcolm Epps for a 22-yard touchdown.  With 5:44 left in the first quarter, Texas and West Virginia were tied at 7-7.

The Mountaineers added a touchdown early in the second quarter, on a five play, 60-yard drive that was capped by Austin Kendall’s play-fake keeper from a yard out.  West Virginia led Texas 14-7.

Texas answered on its next possession with senior wide receiver John Burt catching a 13-yard touchdown pass, his first since the 2017 season, to even the score at 14-14.

Evan Staley ‘s missed 32-yard FG with 6:08 gave the Longhorns the ball back at their own 20 yard line.  Roschon Johnson got the drive started with a 17-yard rush.  Sam Ehlinger ended it with a 13-yard touchdown run, giving the Longhorns their first lead of the game at 21-14 with 3:28 left before in the first half.

On the ensuing drive, West Virginia marched 45-yards on nine plays to set up Evan Staley’s 47-yard field goal attempt which sailed wide right as the clock expired.

Texas took a 21-14 advantage into the locker room at the half.

D’Shawn Jamison registered the Longhorns’ second interception off of Austin Kendall at the 11:03 mark in the third quarter. West Virginia would return the favor by intercepting Sam Ehlinger with 3:11 left in the quarter, which set up placekicker Evan Staley’s first points of the game on a 29-yard field goal.

With 1:59 remaining in the 3rd quarter Texas led West Virginia 21-17.

The Longhorns notched another interception off Kendall early in the 4th quarter, this time courtesy of B.J. Foster. Foster’s pick gave the Texas offense the ball at the West Virginia 18-yard line. On 3rd and 5, Ehlinger handed the ball to Duvernay who took it from 13-yards out into the end zone. The Longhorns extended their lead to 28-17.

Texas capitalized again off of Austin Kendall’s miscues, as D’Shawn Jamison picked off Kendall for the second time in the game at the 12:25 mark. The score was extended to 35-17 with offensive tackle Sam Cosmi catching a pass from behind the line of scrimmage, and rumbling 12-yards for a rushing touchdown.

Austin Kendall’s second passing touchdown of the game came with 3:57 left in the fourth quarter on a strike to T.J. Simmons. West Virginia cut the Texas lead to 35-24.

On the following drive, Roschon Johnson surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark, and Sam Ehlinger capped a four play, 47-yard drive with a 23-yard rushing touchdown with 3:03 remaining in the game.

Kendall added another passing touchdown with under a minute left, finding Bryce Wheaton from 12-yards out.

When the game clock expired, it was Texas 42, West Virginia 31.

Game Notes

  • BJ Foster exited the game in the first quarter after injuring his neck on a hit but returned in the second half
  • Texas RB Keaontay was forced out of the game with an injury late in the first quarter but returned in the third quarter
  • Kirk Johnson saw his first action of the season at tailback in the second quarter
  • The Longhorns had four interceptions for the first time in a game since the 2014 season
  • Running back Roschon Johnson recorded his first 100-yard game, with a 121-yard effort on 21 carries
  • Texas amassed 427 yards of total offense
  • Longhorns are now 3-1 in Morgantown against West Virginia
  • Texas improves to 7-2 in true road games under head coach Tom Herman
  • Texas has won nine of its last eleven Big 12 games
  • Texas held the Mountaineers under 100 yards rushing (96), the third time they have held opponents under the century mark this season
  • Ehlinger threw his second INT of the season
  • Ehlinger tied former Texas quarterback James Brown for fourth in school history in career touchdown passes (53)
  • Sam Cosmi notched his first career touchdown on a 12-yard rush in the 4th quarter

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Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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