WHY TEXAS WON
Perhaps more than any other game, Texas’ defense was directly responsible for a W. Sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions — you name it, the D produced it. And even with the early setbacks, including a shocking blocked punt/safety and game-ending injuries to Johnathan Gray and Chris Whaley, Texas didn’t lose its cool. Third downs, such a barrier early, became one big conversion after another in the second half; at one point, Texas was 1 of 11 on third downs, but finished by converting its last seven.
WHY WEST VIRGINIA LOST
The offensive line couldn’t handle Texas’ surging pass rush — Jackson Jeffcoat, Cedric Reed and Desmond Jackson tormented Mountaineers quarterbacks all night. WVU lost starting quarterback Clint Trickett early after a Jackson sack; Paul Millard, a Texan, played most of the game. Charles Sims ran hard and scored three times, but those yards were harder to come by in the second half.
THE EYES OF TEXAS …
… were on three specific Mountaineers — RB Charle Sims, the Big 12’s second leading rusher; DT Will Clarke, a big-time pass rusher who ranked second in the Big 12 in tackles for loss; and QB Clint Trickett, coming off a 267-yard, two-touchdown game at TCU. How’d they do? Sims rushed for 93 yards and scored three touchdowns; Clarke didn’t distinguish himself; and Trickett was knocked out early, attempting only four passes.
Offense: Jaxon Shipley. Can No. 8 be any more clutch on third downs? Plus he caught his first TD of the season.
Defense: Desmond Jackson. He filled in just fine after Whaley’s injury, forcing a fumble, getting a sack and knocking Trickett out of the game.
THIS AND THAT
Cheers: Reed, Jeffcoat, Carrington Byndom, Shipley, McCoy, Steve Edmond, Joe Bergeron, Alex De La Torre.
Jeers: Daje Johnson.
Firsts: Shipley caught his first touchdown pass of the season. … Bergeron, getting carries after Gray’s injury, scored his first touchdown since Iowa State. … Texas played — and won — its first overtime game in the Mack Brown era.
Notables: Shipley recorded his first touchdown since last year’s regular-season finale at Kansas State, as well as a reception for his 32nd straight game. That’s the third-longest streak in UT history. … Bergeron scored his third touchdown of the season.
Concerns, moving forward: Injuries to Gray and Whaley are of huge concern. Yes, Texas has depth. But those are true playmakers.
Missing Daje: It was a poor night for Johnson, who has looked quicker and quicker in recent games but was canceled out by the Mountaineers. Just like Mike Davis, Texas needs Johnson making plays.
The Big Mo: Texas won its sixth straight in dramatic fashion, and the Longhorns are rolling as they head into this Okie State/Texas Tech/Baylor home stretch that’ll determine the Big 12 title and Texas’ bowl destination.
UP NEXT: OKLAHOMA STATE
2:30 p.m. Saturday, FOX
We all knew this would be a big game. Texas, tied with Baylor atop the Big 12 standings, still controls its own destiny. A win over the Cowboys would be huge in terms of what’s at stake on the horizon.
— Richard Tijerina