Horns win sixth straight, prevail in OT, 47-40

Posted November 9th, 2013



Texas has beaten West Virginia in overtime, 47-40.

Appropriately enough, it was the defense that won the game at the end.


On Texas’ first possession, a big connection from Case McCoy to Marcus Johnson gave Texas a first and goal at the 5. Malcolm Brown was stopped for a short gain on first down, and was stuffed behind the line on second.

On third and goal from the 2, McCoy found fullback Alex De la Torre alone in the flat for the touchdown.

That made it 47-40, with West Virginia’s possession to go.

On the Mountaineers’ first play, Mario Alford’s 20-yard gain moved WVU down to the 5.

Charles Sims was stopped for a short gain up the middle on first and goal. Quandre Diggs, rushing in, tipped Paul Millard’s pass to the endzone. On third and goal, Steve Edmond jumped high to tip a pass that likely would’ve been caught in the end zone by Kevin White.

On fourth and goal, Edmond picked it off in the endzone.

The Longhorns improve to 7-2 overall and 6-0 in the Big 12.



It’s Texas 40, West Virginia 40.

And we’re heading to overtime.

Anthony Fera’s 24-yard field has tied it up.

On a critical fourth-and-7 with a minute to play, Case McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley for an 8-yard gain and a first down.

West Virginia called a timeout, with 58 seconds left.

Malcolm Brown them rambled 27 yards down to the 11.

On second-and-7, Brown was stopped at the line for a short gain.

Texas called timeout with 21 seconds left. McCoy threw incomplete to Mike Davis in the endzone.

On fourth down, Texas went for the tie.



There’s 7:39 left.

It’s West Virginia 40, Texas 37.

The Longhorns and Mountaineers are living and dying by third downs tonight.

The latest big play on third: West Virginia, facing a third-and-7, has just retaken the lead on a 72-yard touchdown pass from Paul Millard to Mario Alford, who beat Duke Thomas on the play.



There’s 8:57 left.

It’s Texas 37, West Virginia 33.

The Longhorns have retaken the lead in Morgantown, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Case McCoy to Jaxon Shipley.

That the play came on a third-and-goal shouldn’t have been a surprise. The quarterback and wide receiver connected three times on third down during the scoring drive.

McCoy hit Shipley for a big 8-yard catch on a third-and-2 play to get Texas to midfield. And then, on a third-and-14, they connected again for 36 yards down to the Mountaineers’ 6-yard line.

Texas had avoided major disaster when an interception of McCoy was called back for defensive holding. That set the Longhorns up with a first down at WVU’s 38-yard line.



There’s 14:01 left.

It’s West Virginia 33, Texas 30.

A big play via the pass has helped West Virginia get back on top in Morgantown.

Dreamius Smith’s 8-yard run off the left side for a touchdown capped a lightning-quick scoring drive for the Mountaineers.

But it was Paul Millard’s big pass to Kevin White that got the Mountaineers into scoring position. Kevin White — who is 6-foot-3 — out-battled Carrington Byndom — who’s 6-0, for a jump-ball pass completion of 31 yards on the sideline.

Byndom was right there, battling. White just won the battle for the ball.



There’s 16 seconds left.

It’s Texas 30, West Virginia 26.

Another big third-down conversion has helped Texas, this time helping the Longhorns retake the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Last drive, Case McCoy was able to convert two big third downs via the pass, one to Kendall Sanders and one to Jaxon Shipley. On this drive, he zipped a 29-yard strike on third-and-5 to Mike Davis on the sideline. That gave Texas a first down at WVU’s 18.

Joe Bergeron, handling rushing duties on this drive, ran it in from 8 yards out for the touchdown.

McCoy, who had hooked up with Davis on the long 49-yard touchdown pass on Texas’ previous drive, went right back to Davis on this series’ first play. McCoy underthrew the pass, but Davis was able to draw a pass interference call as he tried to fight back for the ball.



There’s 4:15 left.

It’s West Virginia 26, Texas 23.

Texas has clawed back into this game thanks to some clutch plays from the passing game — and one big one.

Kendall Sanders (third-and-4) and Jaxon Shipley (third-and-6) converted important third down catches to get Texas to midfield.

Two plays after Shipley’s big conversion, Case McCoy hit a wide-open Mike Davis downfield for a 49-yard touchdown pass.

It’s cut the Mountaineers’ lead to 3 points.

Johnathan Gray has been ruled out for the game. He’s got a lower leg injury, though it appeared to be his right calf.



There’s 7:34 left.

It’s West Virginia 26, Texas 16.

The Mountaineers have answered Texas’ field goal with a smooth, methodical touchdown drive — most of it straight at the Longhorns’ strength, its defensive line.

Charles Sims broke through for a 34-yard gain to get the Mountaineers to midfield. Another couple of runs up the middle had West Virginia reaching Texas’ 32 with a first down.

Paul Millard found Wendell Smallwood for a short pass out in the flat. But Adrian Phillips was taken out by a blocking receiver, and Dalton Santos missed the tackle at the 26. Smallwood then squirted down the sideline, Mykkele Thompson slipping as he tried to make a tackle at the 10.

Steve Edmond finally caught Smallwood, from behind, at the 2-yard line.

Millard kept it on first down, but was stopped for no gain by Shiro Davis. Millard threw incomplete into the endzone as he was blitzed by Dalton Santos and Peter Jinkens, but Santos was flagged for roughing the passer on the play.

That gave West Virginia a first down at the 2. Sims bulled in for the score.



There’s 10:24 left.

It’s West Virginia 19, Texas 16.

The Texas offense, getting yet another gift-wrapped turnover by the defense, has cut the lead to three points.

Starting at the 7, the Longhorns were unable to score the touchdown and had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Anthony Fera.

Malcolm Brown was stopped for no gain on a first down sweep. He was stacked up for only 1 yard on a second down run, again to the same side.

On third and goal, at the 6, Case McCoy wasn’t able to connect with Jaxon Shipley, who had some separation in the endzone but couldn’t handle the pass.

The drive was set up by the latest great defensive effort for the Longhorns.

On first-and-10 from West Virginia’s 14, defensive tackle Malcom Brown was able to get a hand on Paul Millard’s pass. The ball fluttered into mid-air, and Adrian Pillips picked it off at the 20, then returned it to the Mountaineers’ 7-yard line.

It was the third turnover of the night for the Mountaineers. All have led to Texas points.



There’s 12P43 left.

It’s still West Virgina 19, Texas 13.

But there’s been a development. Texas has suffered another injury, this time to one of its key offensive stars.

Johnathan Gray, on the very next play after a big 27-yard run to open the second half, has suffered some sort of right leg or calf injury. He pulled up lame after catching a short pass out of the backfield.

On third down, Case McCoy underthrew Mike Davis — who had a step or two on his defender — on a wheel route down the left sideline. The cornerback was able to make up the ground as McCoy’s pass hung in the air, and he broke up the pass.

Gray has been taken to the locker room.

Anthony Fera had a nice punt, and West Virginia will start at its own 4-yard line.



West Virginia leads Texas, 19-13.

The Longhorns, who were 7-point favorites heading into the game, may be happy to only be down by six at the break. Then again, West Virginia — which has been sacked five times and lost a pair of fumbles — is probably happy to be leading.

The Mountaineers added a 30-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

West Virginia will get the ball to start the third quarter.

Clint Trickett, who started the game for the Mountaineers, was knocked out of it in the first quarter on a sack by Desmond Jackson. Paul Millard, a junior from Flower Mound, Texas, will likely play the rest of the game.

How they have scored:

West Virginia went up 9-0 in the first quarter, thanks to a blocked punt that went out of the end zone for a safety and a 3-yad touchdown run by Charles Sims. The Longhorns battled back, scoring 10 unanswered points no Anthony Fera’s 37-yard field goal and Malcolm Brown’s 2-yard touchdown run.

West Virginia, down 10-9, retook the lead on Sims’ 6-yard run. A recovered fumble inside the Mountaineers’ 10-yard line resulted in a 25-yard field goal from Fera, cutting the lead to 16-13. And West Virginia added that last-second field goal right before the break.

Some stats:

PASSING: Case McCoy is 9 of 20 for 86 yards. No touchdowns, one pick. Millard is 8 of 16 for 98 yards.

RUSHING: Johnathan Gray has 7 carries for 29 yards, and Malcolm Brown has 9 carries for 17. Brown has a touchdown. West Virginia’s Charles Sims has 12 carries for 27 yards and two touchdowns.

RECEIVING: Daje Johnson has 3 catches for 26 yards, Kendall Sanders has 2 for 33 and Jaxon Shipley has 2 for 11. West Virginia’s led by Kevin White (3-52) and Sims (3-37).

West Virginia has 10 first downs. Texas has six.

Both teams are really struggling on third downs. Texas has converted only 1 of 9; West Virginia has converted 3 of 11.

West Virginia has 134 total yards. Texas has 123.

The Longhorns are averaging 2.2 yards a carry.

Daje Johnson has fumbled twice, losing one.

Texas’ defensive line is keeping this game close. Even with the loss of Chris Whaley, who was carted off in the first quarter with a leg or knee injury, defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed are having big nights, as is defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, who replaced Whaley.

Texas is struggling on special teams, having given up a pair of big returns, nearly fumbling a punt return, and having a punt blocked.



There’s 4:56 left.

It’s West Virginia 16, Texas 13.

The Longhorns have scored again thanks to a defensive turnover deep in West Virginia territory.

Sound familiar?

That’s because it’s been a recurring storyline in Morgantown tonight. Texas’ defense is stifling West Virginia’s running game, disrupting the Mountaineers’ offense, and coming up with big turnovers that have led to all three Longhorns scores.

The latest: A 25-yard field goal by Anthony Fera.

On the Mountaineers’ previous drive, Cedric Reed recovered a Paul Millard fumble after the backup quarterback lost the ball on a sack by Carrington Byndom. Steve Edmond, who forced a second down incompletion on a blitz and thus forced West Virginia into a third-and-long situation, and Quandre Diggs, who also was in on the blitz/forced fumble, came up big on the drive as well.

The fumble set Texas up at West Virginia’s 7-yard line, but the Longhorns couldn’t crack the endzone.



There’s 7:24 left.

It’s West Virginia 16, Texas 10.

The Mountaineers have retaken the lead on a nice drive that ended with a short touchdown pass from backup Paul Millard.

That drive snapped a 10-point run by the Longhorns, who had taken their first lead on Malcolm Brown’s touchdown run after falling behind 9-0.

Millard gets the credit for West Virginia’s drive. After looking shaky on his first two series since replacing starter Clint Trickett, Millard looked more comfortable in the pocket and found open receivers in the Texas zone.



There’s 10:48 left.

It’s Texas 10, West Virginia 9.

Yes, Texas’ offense has produced 10 points tonight.

But it’s been Texas’ defense that has been largely responsible.

The Longhorns, rattled early by a series of calamities — including a blocked punt for a safety and a leg injury to one of their most important defensive playmakers — have taken the lead in Morgantown, thanks to Malcolm Brown’s 2-yard touchdown run.

But both Texas scores — Brown’s touchdown and Anthony Fera’s earlier field goal — were both set up by defensive turnovers inside Mountaineers territory.

Texas has five sacks on the night and has forced two fumbles, both of which led to the two scores. Quarterback Clint Trickett has been knocked out of the game.

So far, West Virginia has run 19 plays. The Mountaineers have rushed for minus-11 yards and have only 20 total yards on offense. And they’re 1 of 5 converting third downs.



There’s 1:02 left.

It’s West Virginia 9, Texas 3.

The Longhorns, who have all sorts of reasons to be in a much worse position than they’re in, perhaps have stopped the bleeding in Morgantown.

Anthony Fera has kicked a 36-yard field goal.

As many bad things are happening on offense and special teams, Texas’ defense is keeping the Longhorns in this game. Even with the loss of Chris Whaley, the defensive line is controlling the Mountaineers.

Cedric Reed, Jackson Jeffcoat and Desmond Jackson all have recorded sacks. Jackson, who replaced Chris Whaley, forced a fumble while taking quarterback Clint Trickett down, and Jeffcoat recovered. That set up Texas’ field goal.

Trickett remained on the turf for several moments, and walked back to the sideline in a daze. Paul Millard — a junior from Flower Mounds — is in the game at quarterback.



There’s 9:38 left.

It’s West Virginia 9, Texas 0.

Things have gone from bad to really bad to worse in Morgantown.

First, West Virginia blocked a Texas punt and got a safety out of it.

Then Chris Whaley suffered what looks like a possible season-ending leg or knee injury. His leg was rolled on by a Mountaineers offensive lineman. He’s been taken into the locker room on a cart, surely for X-rays.

On the very next play, West Virginia’s Charles Sims bulled in for a short touchdown run. Jackson Jeffcoat missed a tackle on the backside of the run, while Mykkele Thompson was driven back into the endzone after meeting Sims at the 2.

It’s a raucous crowd and Texas has fallen behind early.



There’s 10:29 left.

It’s West Virginia 2, Texas 0.

The Mountaineers have made the first big play of the game in Morgantown, as Jewone Snow blocked Anthony Fera’s punt. The ball bounced out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

The Mountaineers took the ensuing kick down to Texas’ 42. And then a first-down pass to Charles Sims resulted in a 14-yard gain when Duke Thomas missed an open-field tackle. Sims then ran it for 5 yards up the middle, and Clint Trickett found Kevin White for a pass to Texas’ 8.

On first and goal, Sims carried to the 5. But defensive tackle Chris Whaley was injured on the play when a Mountaineers offensive lineman rolled on his leg.

The game was stopped for a couple of minutes, and Whaley was taken off on a cart.

The injury looked serious.

West Virginia opened with a nice return to start with good field position, but the Mountaineers went three-and-out.

The ensuing 55-yard punt, however, nearly turned into disaster; the ball bounced in front of Daje Johnson, just grazing past his right shoulder. West Virginia players fell on it at the 5-yard line, but replays showed the ball did not touch Johnson.

Texas went three-and-out, and that’s when Fera’s punt was blocked.



It’s cold. Mid-fifties in Morgantown.

That didn’t stop several members of the Texas defense from going through their pre-game walk-throughs sans shirts.

Texas is back on the field, however, in full uniforms. They’re going through pre-game stretches.

No major injury updates. David Ash is out again. So is right tackle Josh Cochran.

Texas is trying to improve to 6-0 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor remain on the schedule.

Here are five questions that our own Randy Riggs came up with — questions that are facing the Longhorns tonight in Morgantown:

Will Texas shut down a second Sims in as many games?

Last week, the Longhorns held Kansas tailback James Sims to 48 rushing yards on 15 carries — well below his average of 84.1 yards per game entering the contest. Now it’s Charles Sims’ turn.

The transfer from Houston is averaging 83.8 yards per game, third-best in the Big 12. Texas’ defense is allowing only 126.2 total rushing yards per outing in league play.

Will Case McCoy avoid throwing an interception?

In the first 2 1/2 games after taking over for David Ash at halftime of the Kansas State contest, McCoy threw only one interception. But in the past two games, he’s reverted back to his old ways and thrown four — two apiece vs. TCU and Kansas.

The giveaways haven’t cost the Longhorns dearly — yet — but Texas is flirting with danger if he doesn’t take better care of the ball. WVU has 10 interceptions — tied for third in the Big 12 — and has returned two for scores.

Will Anthony Fera get his punting mojo back?

Texas’ senior placekicker/punter has been money on his kicking this season (11 of 12 field goals, 32 of 33 PATs), but his punting has slipped.

Over the first five games, Fera averaged 43.6 yards per punt. But over the last three games, his 15 punts have gone for an average of only 36.6 yards per attempt.

Will Jaxon Shipley catch a touchdown pass?

The junior wide receiver is having a solid year, leading the Longhorns in receptions (39) and receiving yards (445).

But Shipley’s next touchdown catch will be his first for 2013. Heck, even defensive tackle Chris Whaley has scored two more touchdowns than Shipley this season.

Shipley’s been stuck on nine career touchdown catches since the 2012 regular-season finale at Kansas State.

Will Mike Davis break out?

Davis was Texas’ go-to guy in his first four games (he missed K-State with an injury), catching 27 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns. In the last three, though, he’s caught a total of four passes for 99 yards as Texas has relied more on the running game.

Young receivers like Marcus Johnson and Kendall Sanders also have been productive over the same span.

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