TEXAS 47, W. VIRGINIA 40: FIVE QUESTIONS
A look back at our five pregame questions facing the Longhorns before their win Saturday:
1. WOULD TEXAS SHUT DOWN A SECOND SIMS IN AS MANY GAMES?
Last week, Texas stifled Kansas’ James Sims, holding him to only 48 yards. But West Virginia’s Charles Sims (no relation) rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. The Mountaineers’ five rushing touchdowns were a season high. Sims, a transfer from Houston, was averaging 83.8 yards per game entering Saturday night.
2. WOULD CASE MCCOY AVOID THROWING AN INTERCEPTION?
He threw two, but only one counted. He was picked off in the first quarter, but the defense held and forced a punt. He threw another interception in the fourth quarter, as he tried to rally Texas from a 33-30 deficit. But the Mountaineers’ defense was flagged for holding, and it nullified the interception. Three plays later, McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley for a big 31-yard catch to set up a touchdown.
3. WOULD ANTHONY FERA GET HIS PUNTING MOJO BACK?
Fera, who’s handling kicking and punting duties this season, did have his moments as a kicker — particularly a first-half punt that pinned West Virginia at its 4-yard line. He also averaged 42.8 yards a kick, which Texas certainly would love to see more of. But his first punt of the night was blocked for a safety. Still, his average is cause for hope; Fera averaged 43.6 yards a kick in the first five games.
4. WOULD JAXON SHIPLEY CATCH A TOUCHDOWN PASS?
Yes. And it was a big one.
After McCoy had thrown incomplete to him in the end zone three times, the fourth was the charm. Shipley’s 8-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter gave Texas a 37-33 lead with nine minutes to play. It was Shipley’s first touchdown of the season, his first since the 2012 regular-season finale at Kansas State. He’s leading the Longhorns in receiving this season.
5. WOULD MIKE DAVIS BREAK OUT IN MORGANTOWN?
Davis, who had been Texas’ big-play receiver in his first four games, had taken a bit of a backseat in the offense, as Shipley emerged as McCoy’s third-down outlet and youngsters like Marcus Johnson and Kendall Sanders began coming up with big plays. But Saturday, Davis led the team in receiving yards, with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
— Richard Tijerina