Texas gives West Virginia ‘good old-fashioned butt kicking’
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas bent, but didn’t break.
West Virginia had little trouble moving the ball into Longhorns territory, but didn’t come away with many points in a 33-16 loss on Saturday.
Texas’ defense shut down the high-scoring Mountaineers when it mattered most, holding them to just a field goal in the first half.
"First half was a good old-fashioned butt kicking," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "That’s what it was on all three sides of the ball. We got out coached, got outplayed."
The Mountaineers looked nothing like the team that beat Baylor earlier this season and let another top 10 upset slip away last week against TCU.
"Whether it was a little bit of a hangover or so to speak from last week, I don’t know," Holgorsen said. "But we were ready to play."
Despite piling up 448 yards of total offense, it was an ugly offensive day for the Mountaineers. Quarterback Clint Trickett was sacked three times, once for a safety, and threw a costly interception before halftime.
Normally reliable kicker Josh Lambert was only 1-for-3 on field goal attempts.
"Our field goal kicker was not good," Holgorsen said. "Special teams in general were terrible. You can’t point a finger at anybody. It was all three sides of the ball."
The Longhorns put together their first complete game of the season with tough defense and a strong rushing attack.
Running back Johnathan Gray pounded through the West Virginia defense for 104 yards and three touchdowns. But he wasn’t the only one doing the work. Malcolm Brown also found big holes with 94 of Texas’ 227 rushing yards.
"We were finding holes everywhere and Gray did a great job." Brown said. "Those guys upfront made it so easy for us."
After many inconsistent performances from his team this season, Saturday was the effort and progress Strong has been wanting to see.
"Week by week we continue to get better," he said. "Just overall very pleased how hard our running backs ran."
The win is surprisingly Texas’ first against a ranked team at home since 2008. Strong and his players celebrated in the locker room, but there’s still a lot of work left to just become bowl eligible.
They’ll have a chance to get their sixth win of the season next week against Oklahoma State before hosting No. 6 TCU on Thanksgiving.
"We’re not conceded about the bowl right now," Strong said. "We just want to enjoy this one this evening and get ready to go play Oklahoma State."