How the Texas Longhorns graded out in their Big 12 road loss to West Virginia
How Texas graded out in Saturday's 31-23 loss at West Virginia:
Casey Thompson was ineffective in the first half, got benched for Hudson Card and then was ineffective again when reinserted after Card was hurt. His final numbers: 4 of 14 for 29 yards and an interception. And Thompson's pick was the game-sealer, really. It came with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left and Texas needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion to force overtime. UT had reached West Virginia's 28 before the pick. Card (10 of 16, 123 yards, one touchdown) provided some second-half spark, including a 52-yard scoring pass to Xavier Worthy. Who knows if this would've turned out differently had he also played the first half or those final drives?
Go figure: Card has thrown a touchdown in three straight games.
So far: Louisiana A-, Arkansas D, Rice A, Texas Tech A, TCU C, Oklahoma B, Oklahoma State F, Baylor C-, Iowa State F, Kansas C, West Virginia D-
Semester average: C, for the third straight week
Running backs: C-
First, the positives: Texas outrushed West Virginia, had a 100-yard rusher and averaged 7.3 yards per carry. Keilan Robinson did his best Bijan Robinson impersonation, rushing for 111 yards and snapping the Longhorns to life with a 49-yard touchdown run. But he had only nine carries, playing a secondary role to Roschon Johnson, who started and ran hard but with mixed results. Johnson had 15 carries and finished with 77 yards. Bottom line, though: On a day when the passing game was not clicking, the Longhorns needed that running game to take control. Instead, it sputtered between stretches of blah with an occasional flash.
Go figure: Robinson's 49-yard touchdown run was Texas' fourth longest of the season; he owns two of those four longest runs.
So far: Louisiana B-, Arkansas F, Rice A+, Texas Tech A, TCU A, Oklahoma B, Oklahoma State B, Baylor C-, Iowa State D, Kansas C, West Virginia C-
Semester average: C+, down from a B-
Wide receivers: F
Not even Worthy's 52-yard double-move touchdown catch could save this position group's grade. Not enough production (only two actual receivers caught passes) and too many drops — three on the first couple of drives, including what would have been first-down grabs for Worthy and Marcus Washington. Jordan Whittington returned to action but was nonexistent on the stat sheet. Maybe he just needs to work his way back into game shape, though he'll have only one more game to do that. Thompson struggled throughout the first half, which led to Card taking over, but the receivers weren't doing Thompson any favors.
Go figure: Worthy's 12 touchdowns this season are tied for the second-most in school history with Limas Sweed (2006) and Roy Williams (2002), and are one behind Jordan Shipley's school-record 13 in 2009.
So far: Louisiana A-; Arkansas F; Rice B, Texas Tech A-, TCU D, Oklahoma A-, Oklahoma State D, Baylor D-, Iowa State F, Kansas B, West Virginia F
Semester average: C, same as last week
Tight ends: F
Another week of minimal impact. Cade Brewer's first-half exploits included a dropped pass and a holding penalty; he finished with four catches for 37 yards. Jared Wiley didn't have a catch, but he did have a penalty on a kickoff.
Go figure: Brewer was targeted seven times.
So far: Louisiana C-, Arkansas F, Rice B-, Texas Tech C, TCU F, Oklahoma B, Oklahoma State F, Baylor D, Iowa State F, Kansas C, West Virginia F
Semester average: Holding steady at a D
Offensive line: D
The front line's best position grade since Oklahoma! OK, there were issues. West Virginia had just one sack but also finished with five quarterback hurries. The run blocking looked a bit better than it has in previous weeks, but pass protection was an adventure. After three straight games with a failing grade, at least maybe the front has something to build on for the end of the season.
Go figure: Texas has nine plays this season that have gone at least 50 yards.
So far: Louisiana B-, Arkansas F, Rice B, Texas Tech A-, TCU C, Oklahoma D, Oklahoma State D-, Baylor F, Iowa State F, Kansas F, West Virginia D
Semester average: Holding steady at a D+
Defensive line: D
This was Ben Davis' best game so far; the Alabama transfer tied for second on the team in tackles and had a sack and two tackles for loss. He destroyed a first-quarter trick play by West Virginia, sniffing out a double-handoff pitchback to quarterback Jarret Doege for a 16-yard loss. Moro Ojomo had a tackle for loss and a hurry. But Mountaineers running back Leddie Brown rushed for 158 yards, and outside of one drive that produced sacks on back-to-back plays, the pass rush just didn't make the road trip to Morgantown.
Go figure: Davis' seven tackles, five solo tackles and two TFLs were all career highs.
So far: Louisiana C, Arkansas D-, Rice B-, Texas Tech C+, TCU B-, Oklahoma D, Oklahoma State D, Baylor D, Iowa State F, Kansas D, West Virginia D
Semester average: D+, same as last week
Another tough outing for the linebackers. Brown ran wild through the heart of the defense, the latest running back to have his way with the Longhorns. A foot injury limited DeMarvion Overshown to just two tackles; Jaylan Ford and Luke Brockermeyer each finished with five, and Ford added a tackle for loss.
Go figure: For the season, Overshown has a two-tackle lead over Brockermeyer, 74-72.
So far: Louisiana B, Arkansas C, Rice B, Texas Tech B, TCU B-, Oklahoma C, Oklahoma State F, Baylor D, Iowa State F, Kansas D, West Virginia F
Semester average: C-, for the second straight week
Doege had his way with the Texas defense, throwing it six straight times on West Virginia's opening drive and finishing with 290 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-43 passing. The secondary was without starting cornerback Josh Thompson, which meant more work for Anthony Cook, whose eight tackles led the team, and McNeese State transfer Darion Dunn, whose unfortunate unsportsmanlike conduct flag in a 21-17 game set the Mountaineers up with a first-and-goal late in the third quarter. Three plays later, it was a 28-17 game. Brenden Schooler, who led the team in tackles the previous two games, finished with seven, one back of the lead. He broke up a third-down pass to force a punt on WVU's third drive.
Go figure: Cook's eight tackles tied his career high.
So far: Louisiana B-, Arkansas B+, Rice B, Texas Tech C-, TCU C+, Oklahoma D, Oklahoma State B, Baylor C, Iowa State D, Kansas F, West Virginia F
Semester average: C, for the third straight week
Special teams: B
Cameron Dicker nailed a 50-yard field goal with 1:13 left in the first half. It's his longest kick of the season. That was the high point of the day for the special teams. The Longhorns are tied for the national lead with four blocked punts, but Keilan Robinson — who has one of those four blocks — was flagged for running into the punter as he tried to get another one; the Mountaineers declined and took the kick.
Go figure: Dicker now has three career field goals of 50 or more yards.
So far: Louisiana B-, Arkansas F, Rice A, Texas Tech C, TCU A-, Oklahoma B, Oklahoma State C, Baylor B, Iowa State A-, Kansas B, West Virginia B
Semester average: B-, for the third week in a row