Texas LB Steve Edmond made two critical plays in the first Overtime, and Texas defeated WVU 47-40 in its first visit to Morgantown.
A dogfight of a game came down to an Overtime of creativity. Texas Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite called a play action, fullback pass for the first time all game to provide the Longhorn’s OT touchdown. Dana Holgorsen responded with a reverse to Mario Alford, which took the Mountaineers to the five-yard line.
However, four plays later, UT’s defense stopped WVU for the win as Edmond grabbed the game-ending interception in the end zone. Why WVU’s offense threw three passes from the five yard line will remain a subject of debate for a while.
As for the regulation game, Texas did what it had to do to win. While Case McCoy ain’t his brother Colt, Jaxson Shipley is better than his brother Jordan. Too many times McCoy was able to connect with Shipley on 3rd and long.
However, the WVU defense was that which kept our guys in the game for the best part of the first half. While looking backwards is useless, if this WVU defense had been in place with last season’s offense, we likely would’ve been playing for all the marbles at 2012's end.
WVU’s defense has been remarkable this season, and certainly tonight. At the same time, UT played into WVU’s strength – which is defending the run. A number of times I marveled at what Texas was thinking by continuing to run. When they threw it short, they moved it – when they ran or threw long, we stuffed it. I wondered why they didn’t throw it a lot.
But WVU’s defense was stellar. And it wasn’t just a couple of players. Nothing tells us more about this defense than the fact that Karl Joseph doesn’t have to make every play, as he did last year.
Our offense is another story. Trickett struggled early – mostly because of the blocking and UT penetration. Then Clint was injured and left the game. Millard struggled early – mostly because of the blocking and Texas penetration.
But Holgy and Co. adjusted. Once we went up tempo, Paul was fine. While Charles Sims was great, big props go out to Dreamius Smith for coming up big when his number was called.
While we lost, WVU fans have a lot of positives to take from this game
- Mario Alford is our new TAVON. The JUCO transfer has come into his own. His 72-yard TD reception demonstrated a speed we hadn’t seen this year. And it was the first time the TV caught Holgy smiling all season.
- WVU’s defense is gaining confidence each week. I cannot wait to see them against the Big 12’s cellar dwelling teams and a bowl game (positive thinking). I’m hoping for shutouts the rest of the way.
- At 4-6, WVU is still positioned to finish the regular season at .500 and receive a bowl bid. The bonus month of practice will only help us as we head into the 2014-15 campaign.
- Paul Millard came of age this night. While he struggled at first, as the offensive line woke up he managed the game ably. I don’t think we’ll see Trickett for the remainder of the year.
Sad loss. Great gains. Lots to look forward to.