Turnovers Plague Mountaineers in loss to Texas
|3rd down efficiency||10-18||4-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||2-2|
|Yards per pass||6.4||8.0|
|Yards per rush||4.8||4.2|
Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers battled the No. 11 Texas Longhorns for three quarters Saturday evening, but four Austin Kendall interceptions was too much for WVU to overcome – two came in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia took the opening series of the game and marched 76 yards to take the early 7-0 in the first minute and a half. Austin Kendall went 4-4 on the drive for 55 yards, highlighted by a 44-yard bomb to a diving Sam James in the endzone.
The Longhorns were marching down the field behind three big catches from Devin Duvernary on third down for 36 yards kept the drive rolling. However, on third and eight, Quondarius Qualls sacked Sam Ehlinger for three yards that forced a 42-yard field goal that was pushed wide left.
On the first play of the following possession, Kendall forced a pass over the middle and linebacker Ayodele Adeoye picked it off and returned it to the WVU 27.
Two plays later, Texas took advantage of the turnover as Ehlinger hit Malcolm Epps in the corner of the endzone and following the extra point, the game was tied at seven.
Early in the second quarter, Kendall hit TJ Simmons over the middle and reversed filled for 44 yards to get WVU down to the Texas five-yard line. On third and goal from the one, Austin Kendall kept it on the option-read to give West Virginia a touchdown lead.
The Longhorns responded on the ensuing drive, mixing both the run and the pass capped off by a touchdown pass to John Burt on a comeback route to tie the game up with 7:56 left in the first half.
After Evan Staley missed a 36-yard field goal, Texas drove right down the field with ease finished off by Ehlinger stepping up in the pocket and taking off for a 13-yard touchdown run to take their first lead of the game 21-14.
Texas started the second with the ball and the West Virginia defense gave up a first down, but Darius Stills busted through on third and seven and sacked Ehlinger for a 12-yard loss.
Following the punt, the Mountaineers took over inside Texas territory at the 49. However, on the first play, Austin Kendall threw it up to Sam James, but D’Shawn Jamison ripped it way from James for West Virginia’s second turnover of the day. Although Texas didn’t capitalize.
In a stagnant third quarter, West Virginia picked up momentum after a Keith Washington interception and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty gave WVU the ball at the Texas 14-yards line. However, the Mountaineer offense could only muster up two yards and settled for a 29-yard field goal to cut into the deficit 21-17.
On the Mountaineer’s next possession, Kendall forced a pass on third and one and got popped up right into the hands of corner BJ Foster giving Texas the ball at the WVU 18-yard line.
The Longhorns made quick of the short field position as Devin Duvernay rushed for a 13-yard touchdown to push the Texas lead to 28-17.
Then on the second play of the ensuing possession, Kendall threw his fourth interception of the day, the second to D’Shawn Jamison. Four plays later, Texas scored another touchdown taking an 18-point lead.
West Virginia cut the lead back to 11 late in the fourth quarter on the arm of Austin Kendall going 5-5 for 74 yards highlighted by a 39-yard catch over the middle by Sean Ryan and TJ Simmons hauled in a short pass over the middle and fought his way in for the 19-yard touchdown reception.
The Mountaineers attempted an onside kick that was recovered by the Longhorns and they punctuated the game scoring another touchdown in just under a minute to push the lead to 42-24.
West Virginia put together an 11-play 82-yard scoring drive with two of the final completions going to Bryce Wheaton for 43 yards and a touchdown. WVU attempted another onside kick that was recovered by Texas as they finished the game in victory formation with a 42-31 win.