Texas mascot Bevo on the sideline in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

The Eyes of Texas: Four players to watch in Saturday’s Longhorns-Mountaineers game

Posted October 4th, 2019

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The 11th-ranked Longhorns travel to West Virginia on Saturday (2:30 p.m. CST, ABC). The eyes of Texas will be upon …

Montrell Estell, Texas safety

Against Oklahoma State on Sept. 21, Texas gave Estell his first career start. The redshirt sophomore, who entered that game with five career tackles, responded with eight stops and a key interception. A banged-up UT secondary will be missing at least three contributors this week, so more playing time should be available for Estell. West Virginia is averaging 218.7 passing yards per game.

Colton McKivitz, West Virginia offensive lineman

With Yodny Cajuste now on the New England Patriots’ roster, McKivitz switched from right tackle to left tackle this fall. McKivitz’s 39 career starts are tied for eighth in WVU history. The only Mountaineer on the Big 12’s preseason team, McKivitz has 13 knockdown blocks in 2019. West Virginia is allowing two sacks per game, which is the second-worst total in the Big 12.

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Jake Smith, Texas receiver

Smith is technically listed as Devin Duvernay’s back-up on the UT depth chart, but he is playing like a starter. Through four games, Smith has 13 receptions. Duvernay is the only Longhorn with more receptions, and his 39 catches are one off the national lead. Only two UT freshmen have caught four touchdowns, and Smith is already one of them (Roy Williams caught a class-record eight touchdowns in 2000).

Keith Washington II, West Virginia cornerback

Washington is responsible for both of West Virginia’s interceptions this season. He has also recorded eight tackles and three pass break-ups. Washington spent his first three years of college at Michigan and Copiah-Lincoln Community College, but he made an immediate impact in Morgantown. Last year, Washington broke up nine passes and returned one of his three interceptions for a touchdown.

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