The Mountaineers will be in action for one final weekend in Morgantown this Saturday Nov. 20 as West Virginia hosts Texas on Senior Day, inside Milan Puskar Stadium.
The final home game of the regular season slate comes after a disappointing weekend in Manhattan, Kansas, where the team dropped a matchup to the Wildcats by 17 points, 34-17. The game was ugly in all facets of the matchup, especially on special teams where the team allowed a blocked punt return for a touchdown as well as a Casey Legg shanked field goal hurt the Mountaineers (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) chances at a victory.
The Mountaineers currently sit at four wins and six losses following their sixth loss of the season to the Wildcats and now must win their final two matchups of the season against Texas and Kansas in order to make a bowl game berth.
“We’ve got Texas coming in and we’ve got two games left and it’s not too late to play good football, we’ve played good football in spots this year, but we haven’t been consistent which I promise that doesn’t piss anybody off more than me. Our lack of consistency is extremely, extremely frustrating and that’s putting it at probably the mildest I can in a public setting, but it’s never too late,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said.
Texas (4-6; 2-5 Big 12) heads into their second to final game of the season coming off a one-point overtime loss to Kansas on Saturday on a successful Jayhawk two-point conversion attempt to take the win. Prior to the Kansas game last weekend, the last game Texas had won was five weeks before at TCU on Oct. 2, 32-27.
The Texas losing skid included falling to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State as well a blunder to Baylor. The five-game losing streak has mainly fallen on the shoulders of the Longhorn defense which has surrendered 41 points per game through the stretch.
“I don’t see a football team that’s quit, they’re young I think that if you look at them,” said Brown of a Texas football team that hasn’t won a game in quite a while now. “They’re difficult to prepare for because number one they have great team speed on special teams but secondly they change up what they do week in and week out.”
A couple key Longhorn players will be missing game time this weekend as lead sophomore running back Bijan Robinson will miss the remainder of the season after dislocating his elbow. Texas head football coach Steve Sarkisian also announced the subtraction of senior cornerback Josh Thompson for the rest of the season with a fractured fibula. Thompson had seen playing time in nine games this year collecting 23 solo tackles and an interception.
With Robinson now suffering a season ending injury, junior running back Roschon Johnson will now take most of the Texas carries as he has gone for 313 ground yards and three touchdowns on 50 total carries this season. Starting junior quarterback Casey Thompson has tossed for 1,914 yards and 23 touchdowns while earning a quarterback rating of 163.69 through 10 games this year.
“It’s going to be running back by committee, Bijan Robinson I think he was a stud I hate that he got hurt I was watching the game and it didn’t look good and then I saw when he was out so I hate that for him because I think he’s a special player but they’ve got plenty of guys that can play that position,” Brown explained. “Roschon Johnson has hurt us the last two years, Keilan Robinson’s really, really fast, the Brooks kid is talented and so they’ve got plenty at that position and they want to run the ball.”
Senior defensive back B.J. Foster has led the Longhorns on the defensive side of the field snagging three picks which is followed up by junior linebacker Luke Brockermeyer with two interceptions on the season. One of the strongest pieces of Texas’ defense is their linebacker unit including senior DeMarvion Overshown who leads the team with 72 tackles and sophomore Jaylen Ford who is also one of the leaders on the team with 42 tackles.
When these two teams met last year in Austin, the Longhorns came out on top, 13-17. Texas was highlighted by a pair of former quarterback Sam Ehlinger touchdown passes as well as a strong defensive performance which only saw the team surrender a Leddie Brown rushing touchdown and a pair of Casey Legg missed field goals.
West Virginia and Texas will go head to head on Saturday inside Milan Puskar Stadium for Senior Day at noon with televising on ESPN2.
(Top Photo: Ethan Bock)