There are a lot of takeaways from an impressive road win from this Longhorns team. However, there’s a lot of ugly mixed in, especially when you look at the calendar and see who’s next.
10 penalties for 89 yards will get Texas murdered next week in Dallas. So what happened in Morgantown? An inexperienced West Virginia QB, a dominant Texas offense and a deflated, banged up secondary that came up with 4 interceptions.
B.J. Foster’s return seemed to ignite a decimated secondary, however early in the first quarter, Foster seemed to have been lost in the coverage and tracking the ball and a West Virginia wideout took advantage of it while making a spectacular catch. No worries, no problems. Foster came out the rest of the day and locked it down including getting a huge interception for the Texas defense in the 2nd half. However, the Longhorns secondary still struggled with injuries and practically gave the Mountaineers quarterback yards quid pro quo.
Austin Kendall threw three touchdowns, as well as an impressive 1-yard scoring run that even had the camera crew confused. He finished the day at 31 of 46 for 367 yards, a career high for Kendall. Of those 31 completions, Austin Kendall was able to complete seven passes for 20 yards plus, with two of those being huge touchdowns for the Mountaineers.
On the flip side, Texas’ offense was a machine on Saturday in Morgantown. Sam Ehlinger threw two touchdowns, ran for two, and also threw only his second interception on the year. Propelling him into next week against the Sooners with throwing 17 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. That type of ball security helped the Horns against the Mountaineers, as Ehlinger and company put together long drives to help sustain, motivate and rest a Texas defense. Also allowing them to adjust, and time to reconvene with Todd Orlando. Which would then lead to a four interception game, the first since 2014, and three of those coming in the 2nd half of play. Texas would capitalize with points on all four turnovers. Which is exactly what needs to happen next week against Oklahoma for this banged up team to have any type of success.
Another positive from this weekend was quarterback-turned-runningback Roschon Johnson lighting up the box score who ran for 121 yards coming in for a banged up Ingram who left the game temporarily with a stinger.
Key Plays of the Game
13:39 1st [ WVU 1st & 10 at TEX 45] – Passing touchdown, early strike for WVU, wideout somehow gets his hands under the ball, secures it comes up with it. Texas DB got turned around looking lost.
5:59 1st [TEX 2nd & 5 at WVU 22] – shotgun snap to Ehlinger, has a great pocket to stand tall in sets his feet and fires a ball to the end zone to a fully extended, leaping Malcom Epps for a touchdown.
13:05 2nd [WVU 3rd & Goal at TEX half yard line] – pistol formation, snap to Kendall, and a beautiful option read by QB Austin Kendall who keeps it and walks in for a touchdown untouched
8:06 2nd [TEX 1st & 10 at WVU 13] – shotgun snap, RPO to Ehlinger who decides to pull the ball to throw finds John Burt wide open with loose coverage in the end zone for a touchdown.
3:38 2nd [ TEX 2nd & 1 at WVU 13] – Shotgun snap Ehlinger goes through his progressions, sees the middle open up. Tucks the ball and runs up the gut breaking a couple of tackles, slides in for a touchdown.
12:48 4th [TEX 3rd & 5 at WVU 13] – shotgun formation RB Johnson and WR Duvernay on either side of Ehlinger. Ehlinger takes the snap and hands the ball to WR Duvernay who splits defenders going outside to the left, sprints in for 6.
10:43 4th [TEX 1st & 10 at WVU 12] – Ehlinger takes the snap looking up field, sees LT Cosmi peel off his block and fade into the backfield. Ehlinger dumps it off to Cosmi who rumbles in for a touchdown for the left tackle. Rumble big man rumble!
4:04 4th [WVU 2nd & 7 at TEX 19] – shotgun snap to Austin Kendall, who finds a wideout T.J. Simmons running freely, secure s the ball and easily scores due to poor Texas tackling in the secondary.
3:09 4th [TEX 3rd & 3 at WVU 23] – Ehlinger takes shotgun snap, play call is a QB draw design, as Ehlinger drives forward practically untouched for a touchdown up the middle.
Key Stats of The Game
10-18 (56%) Third Down Conversion – Texas completed more than half of their third down conversions. Entering the game being ranked 2nd in the FBS, showed up once again for the Longhorns in their first trip out of the Lone Star State.
5.8 Yards Per Carry –Though he didn’t find the end zone, Roschon Johnson carried the ball for 5.8 yards per carry in Morgantown, and kept the Longhorns’ ability to have a balanced attack.
31 of 46 for 367 yards, 4 total TDs – The Longhorns secondary gave up plenty of yards to Austin Kendall and company yesterday. Throwing for over 360 yards, three touchdowns through the air and a rushing touchdown. If Kendall can put up these kinds of numbers against the Texas defense, they have a lot to worry about and fix before Jalen Hurts goes to work against them in Dallas.
4 Interceptions – The Longhorns were able to come away with four interceptions in one game for the first time in 5 years. Jamison had two of the four, and one of them will definitely make a SportsCenter Top “whatever” list. Insane ball skills and acrobatic play to come down with that one.
Texas Players Of The Game
Sam Ehlinger [18 of 33 for 211 yds, 9 Car for 45 yds, 4 TDs, 1 INT] – Sam Ehlinger once again lead his team in dominant fashion. Not only coming away with four total touchdowns, but also leading the Longhorns to a total of 36:04 Time of Possession.
Devin Duvernay [6 Rec for 86 yards, 1 Car for 13yds, 1 TD] – The Devin Duvernay Show set up in Morgantown this week. Yes, it wasn’t his normal double-digit receptions, but his speed and his dominant route running showed up all day. 14.3 yards per catch and a 13 yard rushing touchdown highlighted his afternoon.
D’Shawn Jamison [4TOT, 4 SOLO, 2 INT] – A depleted secondary has had such a huge need for a playmaker to step up this year. Saturday in Morgantown that playmaker came with the likes of D’Shawn Jamison who came away with two interceptions, one of which was highlighted above with the praise to be on a Top plays on SportsCenter this year.
Roschon Johnson [21 Car for 121 yds, 5.8 ypc, 0 TD] – With an early temporary exit from RB Ingram with a stinger, back-up Quarterback turned into the number 2 runningback showed up on the film all day. Though he didn’t get a touchdown, he was the main reason West Virginia had to play disciplined, honest defense for the balanced attack of Texas with the run and the pass.
The Secondary MUST be better. Yes, four interceptions, that is obviously being highlighted non-stop in this recap is huge. Especially from an injured secondary with no depth or any more bodies at their disposal. However, they still managed to give up 367 yards through the air, as well as two 4th down conversions. If they think Lincoln Riley and the Sooners aren’t going to be aggressive and take advantage of their lack of playmakers, and how loosely the Horns have been playing on defense, then they have a rude awakening coming next week.
QB Sam Ehlinger has to be more disciplined. Going 18-for-33 for a shade over 200 yards isn’t going to get it done against the Sooners. However, if they can have a time of possession next week like they had in Morgantown, they could survive in what’s shaping up to look like a massacre. Regardless of the one-on-one matchups, this Texas team needs to play with a lot more discipline than they showed on Saturday or it could make for a long rest of the season with the gauntlet they have coming up.