BEVO BEAT

Texas’ schedule talk: West Virginia

Posted August 21st, 2014

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  • Did you know that former Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley is now at West Virginia? Bradley, who presided over the Nittany Lions at the end of Penn State’s tumultuous 2011 season, is now WVU’s associate head coach. It’s a fancy title for defensive line coach.
  • Did you know that West Virginia opens its season against Alabama, in Atlanta? That’s a tough assignment out of the gates for a coach like Dana Holgorsen, who likely needs wins to keep his job.
  • Did you know that in 2013, West Virginia lost nine defensive players to injury, all of whom were starters or regular players? Perhaps that, as much as anything, contributed to West Virginia ranking 99th nationally in yards allowed.

We’re spending these next three days examining Texas’ 2014 schedule. We’ve already done Texas-North Texas, Texas-BYU, Texas UCLA, Texas-Kansas, Texas-Baylor, Texas-Oklahoma, Texas-Iowa State, Texas-Kansas State and Texas-Texas Tech.

Game 10: Nov. 8

TEXAS VS. WEST VIRGINIA

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Royal-Memorial Stadium

This game underscores the depth of the Big 12. No one’s calling West Virginia a juggernaut, but when the Mountaineers are picked to finish eighth in a conference, that conference is probably pretty deep. In many ways, WVU is an enigma entering its third year in the Big 12. This is a program that was going to BCS games not that long ago. Would anyone be surprised to see the Mountaineers stay healthy, get quality quarterback play from Clint Trickett and win, say, eight games?

They’ve yet to catch any breaks in the Big 12. This could be the year that changes.

Last year, Case McCoy connected with fullback Alex De La Torre for a 2-yard touchdown catch in overtime. Linebacker Steve Edmond then made two big plays in the endzone — breaking up a Paul Millard pass on one play, then intercepting it on another to seal Texas’ 47-40 win.

With that win, Texas seized control of the Big 12 at 6-0, leading Baylor by half a game in mid-November.

Had the Mountaineers not won on the road at TCU in early November, they would have ended the season on a seven-game losing skid. The swoon mimicked 2013, when WVU dropped six of eight after starting the year 5-0. A couple of sub-.500 seasons has Holgorsen on watch in Morgantown.

Texas vs. West Virginia: FYI

Storylines: (1) After getting Texas Tech the week before, the Longhorns will be facing another pass-happy offense. That means a younger secondary will get a lot of on-the-job-training in November, as a trip to Oklahoma State comes next. (2) Holgorsen, whose program has fallen off considerably since joining the Big 12, could be coaching for his job. (3) It’s Homecoming for Texas.

All-time series: West Virginia leads, 2-1

Last time: Texas, 47-40 (2013, OT)

Last year: Texas was 8-5, 7-2 in conference, and 4-2 at home (wins over New Mexico State, Kansas State, Kansas and Texas Tech; losses at Ole Miss and Oklahoma State). West Virginia was 4-8, 2-7 and 1-3 on the road (a win at TCU; losses at Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State and Kansas).

Texas vs. West Virginia, in Austin: 0-2

Texas vs. West Virginia, in Morgantown: 1-0

Kirk Bohls says: Texas wins

Cedric Golden says: Texas wins

Vegas says: Texas by 13

Tomorrow’s game breakdown: At Oklahoma State

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