Two weeks ago, there was concern that Tom Herman’s back was against the wall and that he would lose his job if he lost to Oklahoma State. But, the Longhorns went on the road and beat the Cowboys in overtime last week. And then they came back home and beat the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday 17-13.
But the defensive battle didn’t get off to a slow start, with both teams putting together 75-yard touchdown drives to open the game. Texas got the ball first with Sam Ehlinger’s seven-yard pass to Brennan Eagles. Then it was WVU responding to tie the game with Leddie Browns’ 12-yard touchdown run.
But the next 24 minutes until halftime saw only a Texas field goal to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, West Virginia’s first drive stalled in the red zone after a touchdown call was overturned, which led to a Casey Legg 25-yard field goal to tie the game.
On the next drive for Texas, Sam Ehlinger found Jake Smith for a 33-yard touchdown to cap off a seven-play, 65-yard drive and take a 17-10 lead. Two drives later, WVU knocked through another field goal as Casey Legg hit from 34 yards out to cut UT’s lead to 17-13.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers offense had some mojo and was making progress, especially between the 20’s. On their next drive, WVU took it down to the Texas 16-yard line, but instead of kicking the field goal to cut it to a one-point game with still 11 minutes to play, WVU went for it on fourth down and Jarret Doege’s pass was incomplete to Mike O’Laughlin. This would come back to bite the Mountaineers.
On their next drive, WVU took it from their own 32-yard line to the Texas 8-yard line. With less than five minutes left, WVU had to go for it on fourth down. Jarret Doege ran an option and instead of handing it off to Leddie Brown (who looks like he would’ve picked up the first down), Doege went for ALi Jennings in the end zone and the pass was broken up for a turnover on downs. It certainly looked like there was pass interference on Texas DB Chris Brown, but it was not called.
Both defenses played really well and Texas true freshman five-star RB Bijan Robinson had himself a great game with 12 carries for 113 yards, plus two catches for 38 yards. He’s getting more looks each week and that will continue with the loss of Keontay Ingram for a few weeks. Sam Ehlinger finished a pedestrian 15/31 for 184 yards and two scores. On the other side, Texas bottled up Leddie Brown who only had 15 carries for 47 yards.
For Tom Herman and the Longhorns, they’re now 4-2 and in the thick of the Big 12 hunt as they still have to play Iowa State and Kansas State, two teams ahead of them in the standings.
In many ways, this was an elimination game for the Big 12 Championship race, and WVU is out of the picture falling to 3-3 in conference play and 4-3 overall.
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