The West Virginia Mountaineers will escape Austin with a 24-20 win over the Texas Longhorns, after trying to shoot themselves in the foot numerous times.
And that’s really the story of the game. West Virginia turned the ball over four times, and still managed to come away with the win. Skyler Howard turned in a decent performance in the first half, allowing the Mountaineers to take a 17-13 lead into halftime after some dropped passes by the West Virginia receivers stalled the momentum. But the story changed in the third quarter and Howard seemed to fall apart, throwing all three of his interceptions in the quarter. The Longhorns charged back late in the third quarter to bring close in on West Virginia’s lead.
The Mountaineer defense pitched a fourth quarter shutout to protect the lead. Texas threatened all quarter long, but Tony Gibson’s DAWGS kept them from taking over. The Longhorns were given one final chance with 1:25 left in the game, after Kennedy McKoy failed to pick up two yards to keep West Virginia’s drive alive and put the game away. Texas marched down the field and with five seconds left, from the 27-yard line, Longhorn QB Shane Buchele heaved one into the endzone, only to have it knocked down by Rasul Douglas.
Skyler Howard finished the day 21-of-35 for 269 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. True freshman Kennedy McKoy was handed the reins to the Mountaineer ground attack, and had a solid day. McKoy finished with 73 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Justin Crawford saw action on one drive in the first quarter, but didn’t see the field again after fumbling in the red zone. Rushel Shell had one rushing attempt, but was still feeling the effects of a bad ankle and sat the rest of the game out.
Ka’Raun White led the Mountaineer receivers with 82 yards and one touchdown on 6 receptions, with his touchdown coming on this amazing catch.
Daikiel Shorts finished with five catches for 75 yards, Shelton Gibson hauled in four passes for 65 yards and Jovon Durante finished with 30 yards on three grabs.
Justin Arndt and David Long led the Mountaineer defense with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively. And, once again, Mountaineer cornerback Rasul Douglas continued to improve his NFL Draft stock with nine tackles, one interception and a pass breakup that was nearly picked off.
The Mountaineers will now return to Morgantown and begin to prepare for the biggest game of the season. They’ll take on the Oklahoma Sooners next Saturday in Milan Puskar Stadium, and the Big 12 Conference championship will very much be on the line in this one. Kickoff time has not been announced yet, after it was placed on a six-day window last weekend.