Last season, the West Virginia football team picked up an upset victory over the Texas Longhorns. This year, they weren’t so lucky.
In Saturday’s rematch between the Mountaineers and the Longhorns, it was No. 11 Texas that emerged with the victory, defeating WVU, 42-31.
West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) wide receiver Sam James was able to haul in a 44-yard pass early in the game for the game’s first score, giving the Mountaineers the 7-0 lead with 13:31 remaining in the first quarter.
Texas (4-1, 2-0) quarterback Sam Ehlinger was able to counter later in the quarter as he found wide receiver Malcolm Epps — who was uncovered after shaking the coverage of the WVU secondary — in the end zone for a 22-yard score.
In the second quarter, Mountaineer quarterback Austin Kendall was able to connect with wide receiver TJ Simmons deep for a 44-yard gain, placing the Mountaineers at the Texas 5-yard line. Nearing the goal line, Kendall kept the ball on third-and-goal and found the endzone to put West Virginia up, 14-7.
A response from Texas came on the next offensive drive for the Longhorns when wide receiver John Burt hauled in a 13-yard pass from Ehlinger. Following a defensive stop, Ehlinger ran for a 13-yard touchdown that gave Texas the 21-14 lead.
In the waning minutes of the third quarter, West Virginia placekicker Evan Staley successfully connected on a 29-yard field goal, narrowing the Longhorns’ lead to only four points.
The effort was all for naught as Texas receiver Devin Duvernay found the end zone on a 13-yard rush with 12:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the following drive, Kendall threw an interception — his fourth of the game — which resulted in a rushing touchdown from Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi. With 10:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns held a 35-17 lead.
While Kendall was able to connect with Simmons and Bryce Wheaton for a pair of touchdowns in the game’s final minutes, a rushing touchdown from Ehlinger cemented the Texas victory.
With 367 yards, Kendall was the game’s leading passer. Texas’ Roschon Johnson was the game’s leading rusher with 121 yards while Simmons had the most receiving yards, with 135.
On special teams, Texas kicker Cameron Dicker missed a 42-yard field goal attempt while going six-for-six on PAT attempts. West Virginia’s Evan Staley missed field goal attempts from 36 and 47 yards in the first half before converting an attempt from 29 yards out, while also connecting on all four of his PAT attempts.
The Mountaineers will return to Milan Puskar Stadium next week when they take on the visiting Iowa State Cyclones. The opening kickoff will come at 4:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.