Coming into this year’s version of the ‘Horns Down’ brawl between the Mountaineers of West Virginia and Longhorns of Texas, let’s take a stroll down memory lane at some of the five most all-time greatest games between the two schools.
Both West Virginia and Texas are looking to avoid disappointing endings to their seasons this year as each team currently sits at 4-6 on the year overall as well as having the same 2-5 marks in Big 12 play. While Texas has dropped their last five games, West Virginia is not very far behind currently on a two-game losing streak in the Big 12.
Here are the top five games of all-time between some very historic football programs in West Virginia and Texas:
- Nov. 3, 2018: WVU: 42. Texas: 41.
The infamous ‘Horns Down’ game in Austin, Texas that saw a Will Grier to Gary Jennings 33-yard touchdown pass to win the game with 16 seconds remaining on the clock will always go down in West Virginia history. The play that really won it was a Grier sneak off to the left side of the red zone with some nice blocking up front for the Mountaineers.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense put up a solid fight tossing for three touchdowns but ultimately fell in the scoring barrage. The Grier to David Sills or Jennings connection was there for the West Virginia air raid scoring attack a short time period ago.
- Oct. 6, 2012: WVU: 48. Texas: 45.
Former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith led the No. 8 Mountaineers to a four passing touchdown win for the team to secure an undefeated 5-0 mark. One of the most clutch moments for Smith came on a six-yard touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
The current Seattle Seahawk in Smith also had two more touchdown passes to Bailey on the night as well as a lone score to Tavon Austin. Texas running back Jon Bergeron was the man of the night for the Lonhorns going for four touchdowns in the red zone on the ground attack with the longest coming from four yards out.
- Nov. 12, 2016: WVU: 24. Texas: 20.
The then-No. 16 Mountaineer defense was the difference in this one only allowing seven points on the defensive side of the ball. It was much needed considering West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard tossed three interceptions but luckily the Mountaineers brought a strong rushing game.
Kennedy McKoy rushed for a couple touchdowns in the first and third quarters and went for 73 yards on the ground on the night. The victory for West Virginia pushed the teams record to eight wins and one loss while the Longhorn loss dropped the team to 5-5 on the year and still out of the bowl game contention needing one more win.
- Nov. 9, 2013: WVU: 40. Texas: 47.
Case McKoy and his 2013 Longhorns were able to pull it off in overtime passing for a lone touchdown to Alex De La Torre for two yards six snaps into the drive. Paul Millard was the quarterback on the night for the Mountaineers tossing a couple interceptions to the Texas defensive side of the ball to Adrian Phillips and Steve Edmond.
It was a big win for Texas as the team moved to 6-0 in Big 12 play and continued to hold first place in the conference standings with three games left in the season. McKoy finished with a season-high 283 yards and a touchdown connection with Jackson Shipley
- Oct. 6, 1956: WVU: 7. Texas: 6.
The very low scored affair back in the old days in Memorial Stadium in Austin saw the Mountaineer defense stay stout and only allow a Joseph Clements to Walter Fondren touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns would obviously not go on to convert any sort of extra point after the touchdown.
Larry Krutko rushed in from 15 yards out in the third quarter for the lone West Virginia touchdown of the day. Mountaineer Bob Snider connected on the point after which was the difference in the lone point victory.