WVU Football: 5 Players to Watch Versus Texas

The West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Austin to face off against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. The 5 players on this list need to have a game-changing performance for the ‘Eers to come out on top.

Oct 4, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers fans Jeremy Hyde (left) and his grandmother Jody Payne (right) cheer on the Mountaineer defense against the Kansas Jayhawks during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Mountaineers won 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 22, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu (97) pressures the quarterback during the fourth quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason All-Big 12 selection Noble Nwachukwu anchors the defensive line for one of the most unique units in the country, Tony Gibson’s 3-3-5 stack. He will be an integral part in slowing down the nation’s leading rusher D’Onta Foreman. Nwachukwu leads the team in sacks with three, and is eighth on the team in tackles.

Sep 26, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Jovon Durante makes a move after catching a pass against the Maryland Terrapins during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

WVU’s speedy receiver Jovon Durante has had an up and down sophomore campaign, but head coach Dana Holgorsen has tried getting the ball in his hands every way imaginable – including jet sweeps, screens, and even handoffs. If Holgorsen can get Durante into the open field, expect that to open up big alleys for those home-run plays. 

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Kyzir White, younger brother of former ‘Eer Kevin and current WR Ka’Raun, is one of the most important players on the defense. He plays Gibson’s “Spur” safety/linebacker position, and is one of the most athletic players on the team. White ranks fifth on the team in tackles, according to cfbstats.com, and will need to play a mistake-free game in order to slow Texas’ vaunted rushing attack.

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Senior center Tyler Orlosky commands the offensive line and opens up holes for the Mountaineer rushing attack. Orlosky & Co. have paved the way for 15 rushing touchdowns, and both Rushel Shell and Justin Crawford have eclipsed 500 rushing yards already this season. Orlosky hopes to turn his preseason All-Big 12 selection into a postseason nomination after the season.

Sep 13, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers kicker Josh Lambert (86) and holder Michael Molinari (48) watch the game winning field goal over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineer kicking game hasn’t been called on to make any huge plays yet, but a showdown in Austin against a gritty Longhorns team could be the game they’re challenged. Mike Molina is 13 for 18 on the year on field goals, while punter Billy Kinney has flipped field position well with his 44 yards-per-punt average.

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