Football

West Virginia 42, Texas 41: Our five pregame questions — answered

Posted November 3rd, 2018

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Revisiting our five pregame questions that were facing the Longhorns ahead of Saturday’s 42-41 loss to West Virginia.

Here’s how they played out:

1. Did Kris Boyd and Davante Davis redeem themselves?

Boyd: Yes.

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Davis: No.

Don’t blame Davis, however. He suffered a shoulder injury on the second play of the game and didn’t return. Boyd, however, was solid with six tackles (tied for third-most on the team) and three pass breakups, including two that would’ve been touchdowns. Both starting cornerbacks served first-quarter suspensions in last week’s 38-35 loss at Oklahoma State — the Cowboys put up 17 points and 260 total yards in the quarter — and then Boyd really struggled when he got back onto the field in the second. He had a good bounce-back performance against the Mountaineers.

2. How did Texas fare against the run?

The Longhorns struggled.

West Virginia produced the two best rushing performances against Texas this season in Martell Pettaway (9 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 55-yarder) and Kennedy McKoy (17-94). Pettaway was the first 100-yard game against Texas this season. The Longhorns had the Big 12’s third-rated run defense but gave up 232 to the Mountaineers. That’s the most this season; Oklahoma had 222. Last week, two OSU players topped 80 yards and quarterback Taylor Cornelius had two game-sealing runs in the fourth quarter.

3. Did Andrew Beck’s career year continue?

Yes.

Texas’ tight end had another nice game, finishing with three catches for 28 yards, including a key 19-yard gain on Texas’ late touchdown drive that put the Longhorns up 41-34 with 2:34 left. Sam Ehlinger missed him on what would’ve been a wide-open touchdown pass in the first half. Beck has 21 catches for 211 yards — in his first three seasons, he had 12 total catches for 159 yards. Beck has caught a pass in all nine games this season.

4. Did a Longhorn break free for a big play?

No.

At least not of the 50-yard variety, anyway. Texas was one of only five schools in the country — along with BYU, Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Rutgers — that had yet to record an offensive play of 50 or more yards heading into Saturday’s games. Meanwhile, West Virginia is one of only two teams in the country that haven’t allowed a 50-yard play. Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s 47-yard touchdown catch against USC is the Longhorns’ longest play from scrimmage and they haven’t had a run longer than 35.

5. Did Texas set a new attendance record?

No.

Saturday’s crowd was 100,703. That’s still bigger than Royal-Memorial Stadium’s official capacity of 100,119 but short of the school-record crowd of 103,507 set for the Texas-USC game in September. The previous three Texas-West Virginia mathups at DKR averaged 98,644 fans, though the 2012 game (101,851) was the third biggest crowd in school history.

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