WVU loses in OT
MORGANTOWN -Not even 40 points was enough for West Virginia University’s football team on Saturday night as the Mountaineers dropped a 47-40 overtime decision to the visiting Texas Longhorns.
Mountaineer Charles Sims scored three times but WVU couldn’t stop Texas when it needed and thus fell to 4-6 on the season.
After West Virginia went three-and-out on the game’s first possession, the Mountaineer defense not only forced Texas to punt after running just three plays, but Tanner Barnes blocked the Longhorns’ punt which went through the back of the end zone for a WVU safety and a 2-0 Mountaineer lead just 2:49 into the game.
West Virginia took full advantage of the safety as Mario Alfred returned the ensuing kickoff to the Longhorn 42 and Clint Trickett quickly engineered a six-play drive, good for a 9-0 Mountaineer lead. Charles Sims not only scored the TD on a 3-yard run, but he ran the ball on four of the six plays of the drive and also caught a pass for a 14-yard gain. The only play in which he wasn’t involved saw Trickett hit Kevin White with a 17-yard completion to the Texas 7.
Texas quickly became its own worst enemy as the Longhorns’ next two possessions ended in turnovers -a lost fumble and an interception by WVU’s Nick Kwiatoski, the second straight game in which he has picked off a pass.
But it was a West Virginia turnover that not only led to the game’s next score, but sent Trickett to the sidelines for the rest of the game. West Virginia had just received a punt at the WVU 35 when Trickett not only was sacked and lost a fumble, but also was injured on the play.
Four plays later, Texas finally lit up its side of the scoreboard with a 37-yard field goal by Anthony Fera. It was 9-3 WVU with 1:02 left in the first quarter.
Paul Millard replaced Trickett at QB for the Mountaineers, and also was victimized by a sack on which he fumbled and lost the ball, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Malcolm Brown that gave Texas a 10-9 lead with 10:48 left in the first half.
Millard shook off the rust and led WVU on a touchdown drive midway through the period as West Virginia marched 51 yards with Sims covering the final 6 for a 16-10 WVU edge.
But West Virginia’s next possession ended in another Texas sack and Millard lost fumble, this one at the Mountaineer 7. WVU’s defense held Texas to minus one yard in three plays, forcing the Longhorns to settle for a 25-yard field goal and a 16-13 deficit. West Virginia got back the field goal on the final play of the first half when Josh Lambert booted a 30-yard kick through the uprights for a 19-13 Mountaineer lead at intermission.
WVU committed another turnover on its first possession of the second half as Millard was intercepted at the Mountaineer 21 by Adrian Phillips, who returned it to the 7. West Virginia’s defense dug in and kept Texas out of the end zone, forcing the Longhorns to settled for a 29-yard field goal. It was 19-16 WVU.
The Mountaineers immediately responded, driving 91 yards to paydirt. Sims started the drive with a 33-yard run and finished it with a 1-yard TD for a 26-16 Mountaineer lead.
That lasted all of eight plays as Texas QB Case McCoy hit Mike Davis for a 49-yard score and it was 26-23 West Virginia. The Longhorns also scored on their next possession, going 67 yards with Joe Bergeron covering the final 8 stripes for a 30-26 Texas lead heading into the fourth quarter.
But a 31-yard Millard-to-White pass on the first play of the stanza set up a 5-yard Dreamius Smith TD that put West Virginia on top 33-30 with 14:01 to go.
Again, Texas drove 66 yards for a TD, this time on a 10-yard McCoy to Jaxon Shipley TD pass. With 8:57 left, the Longhorns were back on top 37-33.
Just as quickly, West Virginia went back ahead on a 72-yard Millard to Mario Alford TD pass with 7:39 to go for a 40-37 lead. But Texas tied the game on a 24-yard Anthony Fera field goal, sending it into overtime.
WVU won the toss and elected to take the ball last. Texas needed just six plays to score on its possession with McCoy hitting Alex DeLa Torre from 2 yards out for a 47-40 lead. WVU managed to get the ball inside the 10, but came up short, sending home its fans disappointed.