West Virginia safety Jeremy Tyler(2) and cornerback Rasul Douglas(13) break up a pass to Texas wide receiver Jake Oliver(6) in the final moments at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

West Virginia 24, Texas 20 final recap: A tough day, tougher finish for Foreman, Horns

Posted November 12th, 2016

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It’s over here at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

No. 16 West Virginia has beaten Texas, 24-20.

Texas, which had won two straight, dropped its first game at home this season after posting wins over Notre Dame, UTEP, Iowa State and Baylor. And the Longhorns also saw their streak of four straight wins over teams ranked in the AP’s top 12 snapped, too.

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D’Onta Foreman found yards harder to come by, but finished with 167 yards to tie Earl Campbell’s 39-year-old record of 11 straight 100-yard games.

Texas running back D'Onta Foreman takes a handoff in the first half of the Longhorns game against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Texas running back D’Onta Foreman takes a handoff in the first half of the Longhorns game against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

The Longhorns drop to 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the Big 12. West Virginia, ranked 16th in this week’s CFP poll, improves to 8-1, 5-1.

The Longhorns, though, had their chances. Texas forced four turnovers, yet turned them into only 7 points. West Virginia’s defense, best in the Big 12, looked legit. Foreman got his yards, but the offense didn’t crackle at its usual pace and production.

And the pass protection broke down in the final two quarters. Shane Buechele was sacked four times on the day, the last two perhaps the most critical — one that was ruled a fumble after a review that took away the chance to attempt a 37-yard field goal, the other on Texas’ final drive when the Longhorns needed a touchdown.

Here’s how the game ended:

Down 24-20 with 7:20 left, Texas’ defense, which had already produced some important stops, including on West Virginia’s previous drive, produced another one. The Mountaineers had to punt, giving Texas the ball at its own 41, 59 yards away from taking the lead, with 5:25 left to play.

Foreman ran for 5 yards. Then for 6, and a first down. That moved Texas past midfield. A short 1-yard run from Foreman led to a second-and-9, and Buechele was sacked by David Long for a loss of four yards. On third-and-13 from Texas’ 49, the Longhorns called a draw. Foreman rumbled for 4. Texas, at WVU’s 43, went for it on fourth-and-5 with 2:30 left. Buechele connected with Collin Johnson right on the Texas sideline, but the play went for 4, not 5 yards.

West Virginia took over with 2:26 left, at its own 39. But Texas forced a punt again, and started its last-chance drive at the 12-yard line with 1:20 left in the game.

Texas quarterback Shane Buechele makes a run against West Virginia in the first quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Texas quarterback Shane Buechele makes a run against West Virginia in the first quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Buechele threw it away on first down to avoid a sack. Dorian Leonard made a nice grab in a perfectly-placed pass between two defenders on second down, a 28-yard gain to the 40. Buechele then took a deep shot to Armanti Foreman down the left sideline, but it was incomplete. On second-and-10 from the 40, Buechele found D’Onta Foreman for a 9-yard gain to the 50, and he then found Foreman again for a short gain and a first down to WVU’s 47.

The Mountaineers called timeout with 32 seconds left, prior to that first-and-10 play at the 47. Buechele’s pass to Jake Oliver was broken up and fell incomplete. On second down, Buechele hit Collin Johnson for 20 yards down to the 27.

Buechele killed the clock with 11 seconds left. He threw incomplete to Leonard, and with 5 seconds left — the final play of the game — Buechele lofted it into the end zone and it was broken up at the back.

Texas finished with 536 yards, to WVU’s 383. Shane Buechele was 31 of 48 for 318 yards and a touchdown, plus an interception that really was more John Burt’s fault. Buechele also added 44 yards on the ground. Leonard had seven catches for 125 yards, and Collin Johnson had seven for 68 yards and a touchdown.

West Virginia’s Skyler Howard was 21 of 35 for 269 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. Kennedy McKoy was WVU’s leading rusher, but averaged only 2.9 yards per carry. He had 25 runs for 73 yards and a pair of scores.

Horns up:

  • D’Onta Foreman. Another big week.
  • John Bonney had a pair of pass breakups, one in the end zone, another right in front of it.
  • Dylan Haines picked off his third and fourth passes of the season, one in the end zone that led to a Texas touchdown drive, another near midfield that gave the Horns a chance late in the game. P.J. Locke III also had a pick.
  • Collin Johnson now has three touchdown catches in the last two games.
  • Malcolm Roach and Jason Hall had big sacks. Roach’s was early in the game and forced WVU to settle for a game-tying field goal; Hall’s was early in the fourth and led to a punt.

Horns down:

  • John Burt, whose season has gone south, had three touches — one for a 1-yard loss, one for a short 5-yard gain and one that he never quite caught and was picked off by Rasul Douglas, the Big 12’s interceptions leader. And a first-half shot downfield went through his hands on a high, lofted pass.
  • Connor Williams, Caleb Bluiett and Davante Davis all had holding calls. Tim Cole had an unsportsmanlike conduct flag.
  • Malik Jefferson was lost for the game in the first quarter. An apparent concussion.
  • Trent Domingue had a 37-yard field goal attempt blocked. Shades of Stillwater. And another 37-yard effort in the fourth quarter never happened; officials reviewed the third-down sack of Buechele and ruled it a fumble.

How today’s scoring went:

FIRST QUARTER

Texas: Trent Domingue 27-yard field goal, 12:06

The drive: 12 plays, 65 yards, 2:59

The key play: Dorian Leonard extended to make a nice grab on a pass that led him just a bit too much. The 29-yard grab and run moved Texas to WVU’s 35.

West Virginia: Mike Molina 44-yard field goal, 7:18

The drive: 13-48-4:39

The key play: Malcolm Roach sacked Skyler Howard on third-and-8 at UT’s 23, forcing the field goal.

West Virginia: Kennedy McKoy 8-yard run (Molina kick), 2:27

The drive: 9-66-2:51

The key play: On third-and-11, Howard hit Daikiel Shorts Jr. for a 17-yard gain to the 13.

SECOND QUARTER

West Virginia: Ka’Raun White 29-yard pass from Skyler Howard (Molina kick), 14:11

The drive: 6-70-1:44

The key play: Texas declined a first down holding penalty, taking a 3-yard loss on the play instead, giving WVU a second-and-13 at UT’s 29 rather than a first-and-20 at UT’s 36. The touchdown came on the very next play.

Texas: Shane Buechele 10-yard run (Domingue kick), 7:35

The drive: 5-58-1:44

The key play: D’Onta Foreman’s 32-yard run down to the 18 put Texas into scoring position.

Texas: Domingue 19-yard field goal, :07

The drive: 21-84-6:48

The key play: Texas talked about it during a timeout, but opted not go for for it on fourth-and-1 from WVU’s 2 with 7 seconds left.

THIRD QUARTER

West Virginia: McKoy 3-yard run (Molina kick), 5:03

The drive: 14-79-5:34

The key play: On third-and-9 from UT’s 26, Shelton Gibson beat Kris Boyd on a slant pattern for 23 yards. McKoy scored on next play.

Texas: Collin Johnson 20-yard pass from Buechele (Domingue kick), 1:28

The drive: 9-80-2:12

The key play: A 19-yard gain from Foreman — on a shovel pass from Buechele — on the first play of the drive set the tone.

Neither team scored in the final quarter.

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