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Quick Thoughts: Texas defense comes through in 17-13 win over West Virginia

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It was a defensive showdown at DKR on Saturday afternoon as Texas defeated West Virginia, 17-13, to win their 3rd straight game and improve their record to 4-2 in Big 12 play. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from a Texas victory:

  • The Texas defense was the difference in the game. Chris Ash has his unit playing at a high level right now, especially in the red zone. The Longhorns defense came up with two huge 4th down stops in the red zone and shut down Leddie Brown, who is one of the best running backs in the Big 12. The Mountaineers finished the game with 43 yards rushing.
  • Keondre Coburn exited the game early with an ankle injury, creating the opportunity for Moro Ojomo to make his presence felt. Ojomo had a sack and lived in the West Virginia backfield all afternoon. T’Vondre Sweat also contributed some quality snaps and it was obvious from the first snap the West Virginia offensive staff was worried about the impact the Texas defensive line would have on this game.
  • DeMarvion Overshown continues to flash at linebacker, and it’s hard to believe at time he’s only playing his 7th game at the position. Overshown came up with a huge 3rd down sack to force a Mountaineers field goal. He is still learning on the fly and makes mistakes at times, but Coleman Hutzler is doing a nice job with the junior and his development.
  • On the backend of the defense, the Texas corners and safeties did a nice job keeping the everything in front of them and benefited from some drops from the West Virginia wide receivers. BJ Foster had a big pass breakup in the endzone on 4th down and Chris Brown followed it up the next possession with very tight coverage on a 4th down pass. Josh Thompson and D’Shawn Jamison allowed completions but limited big plays.
  • Offensively, it was not pretty for Texas at times. We can start at QB, where it is obvious Sam Ehlinger is not anywhere close to 100%. He missed on several throws in the first half and didn’t have the typical zip on his balls. In the second half, he made enough plays when it counted.
  • Ehlinger was not getting much help in the second half from his receivers. Tarik Black and Brenden Schooler both dropped passes that would have been huge gains. Kai Money also dropped a pass that was initially ruled a backwards pass and was almost a disaster. The Longhorns have to get consistent play from their receivers outside of Jake Smith.
  • Speaking of Smith, the sophomore had another good game with 59 yards on 3 catches and a TD. Texas has to find more ways to get him the ball out of the slot.
  • It was a huge day for Bijan Robinson, who rushed for over 100 yards as the lead running back. Robinson took the first carry of the game and ripped off a 54-yard run to set up the first TD of the day. The next possession, Robinson had perhaps an even more impressive run when he broke two tackles and tight roped the sideline while getting his face mask held. It is becoming clear Robinson is the best back on the Texas roster, and the coaching staff will likely need to be getting him 15-20 touches a game moving forward.

What’s next?

The Longhorns will get a bye week before traveling to Lawrence to play Kansas. There are only 3 games left in the season, and the Longhorns control their own destiny to make an appearance in the Big 12 title game. The bye week will come at a good time with several guys, most important Ehlinger, banged up and needing some rest. If Texas is able to figure things out offensively and continue to play solid defense, they will certainly have a chance to make some noise down the stretch.

Jameson McCausland is originally from Frisco, Texas, where he grew up a Longhorn fan. His two favorite sports are football and baseball, both of which he covers for HornSports. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his spare time. Jameson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

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