Replay: Texas loses its sixth straight game after 31-23 loss to West Virginia in Morgantown
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Texas coach Steve Sarkisian praised his team’s practice effort this week as the Longhorns card a 4-6 record.
The Longhorns (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) must win both of their final two regular-season games to become bowl eligible. First comes Saturday’s clash at West Virginia, another slumping team also with a 4-6 record overall and 2-5 mark in league play.
Texas closes out the regular season at home against Kansas State next Friday.
“We are going to go on the road to a hostile environment to play a good football team,” Sarkisian said this week. “And we're going to need to put our best foot forward, which I think we're capable of doing.”
Injury wise, Texas will be without running back Bijan Robinson (elbow). But receiver Jordan Whittington (clavicle) has been cleared to play, and his return should help the passing game.
Sarkisian said he plans on starting quarterback Casey Thompson and will not rotate him with backup Hudson Card.
Saturday’s game is broadcast on ESPN2. Check back throughout the game for updates from Milan Puskar Stadium.
It's over: Texas loses its sixth straight game, 31-23
The Longhorns got the ball back with less than a minute to play, but Casey Thompson was hurt after a first-down incompletion. That brought out a limping Hudson Card from the sideline, but Texas couldn't scrape anything together.
The Longhorns fall to 4-7 overall and 2-7 in the Big 12.
A critical interception puts Texas in real trouble (4th quarter, 2:51)
The Longhorns, down 31-23, need a touchdown and successful 2-point conversion to force overtime.
But Texas' drive that extended inside West Virginia's 30-yard line just ended with a Casey Thompson interception.
On fourth-and-8 from West Virginia's 30, Thompson — attempting his first throw since the second quarter — floated a pass over the middle that was picked off by by safety Sean Mahone. But who was Thompson throwing to? Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington were in the area, but Mahone was the only one in position to catch it.
On third-and-6 from the West Virginia 28, Roschon Johnson was stopped in the backfield for a 2-yard loss.
On second down, three Longhorns were injured on the same play: Keilan Robinson, Hudson Card and Junior Angilau.
RoJo scores, but WVU responds
Texas wasn’t done. The Horns put together a 72-yard touchdown drive capped by Johnson’s six-yard score. Texas went for two instead of kicking the extra point. But Card’s pass intended for Whittington was batted down just past the line of scrimmage.
The Horns needed another defensive stop. The Mountaineers got down to the Horns’ 28-yard line and collected a 45-yard field goal. West Virginia had 31-23 lead with 7:03 remaining.
WVU responds with another 75-yard drive
The Horns were now in the game and needed a stop. They opened the next defensive possession with back-to-back sacks. But on third-and-18, the Horns fell apart. Doege connected with Wright for a 19-yard gain on third-and-18 — a backbreaking play for a defense that needed a stop.
West Virginia kept going and capped the 75-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass. The Mountaineers still led 28-17.
Card with a home-run ball to Xavier Worthy, Horns in business
Card was struggling on his second possession. He overthrew Marcus Washington, and a third-down pass was batted in the air but fortunately caught for a 10-yard gain. The Lake Travis product badly needed something to go right.
On first-and-10 from the Texas 48-yard line, Card rolled right into the open and fired deep. Really deep. Card connected with Xavier Worthy for a 52-yard score. Texas was now down only four points with 5:40 left.
Hudson Card starts second half at QB
Thompson completed just four of 12 passes for 29 yards in the first half. So Sarkisian switched to Hudson Card to start the second half. His first drive lasted five plays for 20 yards before Texas had to punt.
Dicker, the kicker, connects from 50 yards for Longhorns
After a holding penalty pushed the Horns back, the offense was stuck back at the West Virginia 39-yard line. Facing fourth-and-13 from the WVU 32, Sarkisian sent out Cameron Dicker.
Dicker, the kicker, boomed a 50-yard line field goal, a new season long. Texas was now within 11 with 1:04 before halftime.
WVU back on top 21-7
West Virginia is having real success just by grinding on the Texas defense and wearing the Horns down. The Mountaineers put together an 11-play, 82-yard drive to take a 21-7 lead just before halftime.
Kaden Prather made a nice 19-yard gain on a crossing route down to the Texas 7. Running back Leddie Brown surged ahead for five yards. Then, Brown ran in untouched from two yards out for the score.
Robinson breaks loose, Texas on the board
Texas got the ball back with 11:13 left in the second quarter. This drive started at the UT 21-yard line. Xavier Worthy picked up seven yards on a quick flip pass and run around the right side. Then, Roschon Johnson surged ahead for six yards. Texas finally got a first down 25 minutes into the game.
Moving to midfield, the Horns then called for Keilan Robinson. The Alabama transfer squirted through the line, got into the open field on the right side and went the distance from 49 yards out.
The offense is struggling, but it’s still just a 14-7 game with 8:34 left before halftime.
West Virginia goes up 14-0
Texas had the field-position edge when WVU was pushed back to its 20-yard line. But the Mountaineers put together an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Doege found Winston Wright Jr. for a 14-yard touchdown pass in the back corner over Anthony Cook.
End of first quarter: West Virginia 7, Texas 0
At the end of the first quarter, Texas’ offense is simply sputtering. West Virginia is looking downfield, getting a 31-yard gainer just before the end of the quarter. The Mountaineers have 132 yards and are 4-of-6 on third down.
Texas’ first three drives: nine plays, 11 yards
Texas went three-and-out on its first three possessions. It’s summed up with two dropped passes and a Thompson sack.
Mountaineers strike first, but Overshown warming up
About 15 minutes after Texas issued a press release confirming that Overshown was out for the game, the Horns then reversed and said he was available. Overshown was seen behind the Texas bench getting warmed up.
Meanwhile, West Virginia went to work on its opening drive. Quarterback Jarret Doege opened with a 23-yard throw. That sparked a nine-play drive capped by Doege’s 20-yard dart to Sam James. The Mountaineers were up 7-0 with 11:02 remaining in the first quarter.
Overshown out, dressed in street clothes
Texas starting linebacker DeMarvion Overshown made the trip to Morgantown but was not dressed during pre-game warmups. Overshown was in street clothes and wore a protective boot on his left foot.
Playing without the team’s leading tackler, the defense will have to tighten up. David Gbenda (16 tackles) is officially listed as Overshown’s backup. But Morice Blackwell Jr. has been turning heads as well.
Turns out, Texas fans tuned out loss to Kansas
If the television ratings mean anything, not many UT fans tuned in to watch last week’s 57-56 overtime loss to Kansas. Chances are they heard about it, though.
Approximately 487,000 viewers were dialed into ESPNU last week, according to TV data compiled by Sports Media Watch. It was the smallest amount of viewers the Longhorns have drawn all season.