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WVU Loses to Texas After Questionable Playcall

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (November 7, 2020) — The West Virginia football team was defeated by the Texas Longhorns by a final score of 17-13 after two big opportunities by the Mountaineers to win the game.

WVU coach Neal Brown thought his guys played great but also praised Texas.

“Congrats to Texas, credit to them. They made winning plays down the stretch,” Brown said.

“I think we played good enough. We didn’t do enough to win but I don’t think we did anything to lose,” Brown added.

The Longhorns (5-2, 4-2 Big 12) didn’t mess around early scoring within the first two minutes of the game. Bijan Robinson on the first play of the game rushed for 54 yards to the WVU-21. It was easy for Sam Ehlinger after that finding Brennan Eagles in the end zone.

Jarret Doege and the Mountaineers (4-3, 3-3 Big 12) countered the Texas opening drive with a drive of their own; nine plays for 75 yards.

Winston Wright had 38 yards of the 75-yard-drive with a completion from Doege. A play after that, Leddie Brown took in a 12-yard touchdown to tie it up. 

For the rest of the first quarter, the Mountaineers and Longhorns struggled to get any offense in. It wasn’t until the beginning of the second quarter where points were scored.

Texas’ Cameron Dicker hit a 34-yard field goal.

Similar to the first quarter, the points by both teams were scored early and then both WVU and UT went scoreless for the rest of the quarter.

Dylan Tonkery highlighted the West Virginia defense tackling Sam Ehlinger twice in the second quarter.

To open up the third quarter, the offense drove right down with multiple first downs, but couldn’t finish the drive. WVU tied up the game at 10 with a short field goal by Casey Legg.

Ehlinger and his offense went right down to counter the tie scoring relatively easy. The senior quarterback found Jake Smith to give Texas the lead back at 17-10.

The West Virginia offense showed signs of clicking after a Sinkfield punt return. Doege drove right down to the red zone.

A Winston Wright touchdown was called back, leading to a 34-yard field goal by Legg to make it 17-13 Texas.

”My biggest question is going to be where they called Winston out of bounds,” Brown said. “The fumble is a question to me. The guys on the field have the best lines and I was pretty close. It looked like a fumble to me.” 

For the entire fourth quarter, it was missed opportunity by missed opportunity by the Mountaineers. Two fourth downs in the red zone that ended in incomplete passes by Jarret Doege.

The first turnover-on-downs in the fourth by WVU was with 11 minutes left in the game. The 4th & 1 pass to Mike O’Laughlin was incomplete.

The second turnover-on-downs was with four minutes left as the pass to Ali Jennings was incomplete.

For both of those fourth downs, Neal Brown used timeouts right before the fourth down plays, allowing Texas to run out the clock to end the game.

Coach Brown says he doesn’t regret going for it on those fourth downs.

“I don’t regret the decision. They were aggressive,” Brown said. “It was on me to have better charge of the offense. The first one I could have kicked a field goal, the second I didn’t think we had a choice.”

Jarret Doege’s streak of games with a touchdown ended at 25. Doege finished with 317 yards throwing 35/50.

The junior quarterback was able to find 10 receivers, including himself (yes, you read that right).

Leddie Brown was banged up with what it appeared to be a groin injury but finished the game with 47 yards and a touchdown. 

The receivers were diverse for the Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon. T.J. Simmons led West Virginia with 71 yards on four catches.

Esdale had 60 yards on six catches, Wright had 56 yards on four catches and Ford-Wheaton had 55 yards on six catches as well.

Kicker Casey Legg’s first start went well going perfect on the day with two-field goals and an extra point.

The defense as a whole played amazing for an offense that averages 44 points per game. The only times the Longhorns reached the end zone was their opening drives in each of the halves. 

Dylan Tonkery was the only Mountaineer that was able to take down Sam Ehlinger. 

The West Virginia Mountaineers will look to get over .500 again in conference play when they host the TCU Horned Frogs next Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.

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