There was a question going into this one whether it was a “look ahead” game for Texas that the Mountaineers might have a shot at in Morgantown. For three quarters, this was a close contest, but Texas managed to distance themselves late.
Milan Puskar Stadium was alive early, mainly because of the play of the Mountaineer defense, which kept the passing game of the Longhorns bottled up for most of the day. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who posted a 54.5 percent completion percentage, threw for a sub-par 211 total yards. His receiving corps managed to make just enough plays in the end, with wide receiver Devin Duvernay again a standout with 86 yards receiving.
West Virginia’s own passing game was boom-or-bust during this game. It was the best of times and worst of times for quarterback Austin Kendall, who threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns. Normally, that would be a good stat line for a quarterback, but Kendall also threw four interceptions, three of which were in West Virginia territory. Those picks led to 21 points for the Longhorns.
For the most part, Texas controlled both lines of scrimmage in this one, with Texas holding West Virginia to 96 yards rushing. The Longhorns were able to amass 216 yards, with backup running back Roschon Johnson (a converted quarterback) toting the rock for his first 100-yard game. Despite offensive struggles in the first three quarters, Texas was able to punch the field position given to them by Mountaineer turnovers through their running game.
If you were basing your estimation of this game on the total yardage, however, then it would be easy to think West Virginia was actually the better team on the day. The Mountaineers outgained the Longhorns in total yards 463-427. Kendall’s turnovers, the last two of which came late in the game when the score was 21-17, were the devastating mistakes that ended up making a big difference.
This was by no means a complete or dominant performance by the Longhorns, who managed to make just enough plays and make fewer mistakes than their opponent. West Virginia, meanwhile, showed some life at home in this one, and proved that they can be competitive with teams across the Big 12.