Texas looks to keep rolling at West Virginia

Posted Friday, Nov. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Texas has played two games outside the Lone Star State this season, neither of which went very well.

The Longhorns were pounded by BYU in Provo, Utah, in their second game and almost lost at Iowa State team in Ames a few weeks later. Now they travel to Morgantown, W.Va., for the first time as Texas (6-2, 5-0 Big 12) faces West Virginia (4-5, 2-4) at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“The thought of Texas coming up there, these people are going to love that now. We’re going to get their best shot,” said defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who made two trips to Morgantown as Syracuse’s head coach from 2005-08. “It’s a great atmosphere, especially at night. They’re all about their program and they’re going to let you know about it.”

Oklahoma State suffered its only loss this year in Morgantown in September, and Texas Tech escaped with a 37-27 victory last month after trailing to start the fourth quarter.

But the Longhorns are a different team than they were when they fell to the Cougars and narrowly beat the 1-7 Cyclones.

The Longhorns have won five in a row, all in Big 12 play, and they’re in a position to make a run at their first conference title since 2009 — a feat that seemed impossible to some after Texas lost two of its first three games.

“Losing stinks. It stinks when you wake up in the morning and it stinks when you go to bed,” co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said. “It’s hard to have great body language and a smile on your face when you’re losing. So to be able to put five wins together has been tremendous for everybody.”

Both junior quarterback Clint Trickett and senior running back Charles Sims transferred into the West Virginia program this year. Trickett transferred from Florida State after losing the starting job to Jameis Winston.

After racking up more than 4,000 all-purpose yards in three seasons at Houston, Sims leads the Mountaineers with 754 rushing yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

After suffering a recurrence of symptoms last week, junior quarterback David Ash will miss his fifth consecutive game. Case McCoy was unimpressive in last week’s 35-13 victory over Kansas, passing for 196 yards and getting picked off twice without throwing a touchdown pass.

But McCoy has gotten plenty of help from his tailbacks as Texas is averaging 203 rushing yards per game this year. Sophomore Johnathan Gray, an Aledo grad, is on pace to have the first 1,000-yard season by a Longhorns running back since 2007, while Malcolm Brown ran for four touchdowns last week, matching his total from last season.

“Winning cures everything,” coach Mack Brown said. “It is really interesting. We’d probably have five [players] in the training room if we’d have lost the [Kansas] game. It is truly amazing. Losing stinks and causes all kinds of problems and winning cures everything. They’re sore after wins and injured after losses.”

Texas at West Virginia

6 tonight

Records: Texas 6-2, 5-0 Big 12; West Virginia, 4-5, 2-4

TV: KDFW/Ch. 4

Radio: KRLD/1080 AM

Head to head

Total off.446.6397.3
Pass off.243.6250.8
Rush off.203146.6
3rd down 44.2%30.9%
Pts allowed22.830
Total def.392.8452.7
Pass def.198.1276.1
Rush def.194.6176.6
Def. 3rd down 38.3%44%

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