Texas played hard for four quarters, but playing hard isn't enough to be a national program.
A veteran Mountaineer squad rolled into Austin and overcame the loss of their best DL, a 2015 Skyler Howard 2nd half, four turnovers and a 153 yard differential to beat Texas in Austin. The Longhorns fall to 5-5 and 3-4 in Big 12 play with Kansas and TCU still on the docket. By any reasonable standard, this is turning out be a disappointing 2016 football season.
D'onta Foreman gained 199 yards from scrimmage on 38 touches, but WVU kept him out of the end zone. Similarly, Buechele threw for 318 yards - largely underneath - but he needed 48 attempts to get there and the WVU secondary refused to allow balls thrown over their heads. By playing bend-but-don't-break between the 20s and blitzing on key downs, the Mountaineers held Texas to 29% conversion on 3rd down (5 of 17) and allowed only 20 points on the scoreboard. Tip your hats to a good game plan and smart execution by a veteran Mountaineer defense.
Ultimately, the Longhorns couldn't finish. And the 2nd to last drive where Colin Johnson ran a 4th and 6 route two feet shy of the sticks sums up the frustrations of our youth and our season long inattention to details.
The Longhorn defense largely played good football - particularly in the 2nd half - despite allowing 8 of 15 conversions on 3rd downs. West Virginia had very few big plays and the Texas secondary played quite well against the league's best WR trio with the exception of CB Kris Boyd. Boyd gave up inside leverage on several key 3rd downs and surrendered a 29 yard TD over the top with no real attempt at playing the football.
Malik Jefferson went out early with a concussion (had 3 tackles in less than quarter before departing) and West Virginia was able to exploit that loss in the passing and running game.
Texas also missed a field goal - courtesy of penetration and a low kicking angle.
A frustrating home loss for Texas fans. And Charlie Strong lost a valuable opportunity to state his case for program improvement with a W over a ranked team.