WVU’s seniors show out as Mountaineers down Longhorns

Gold and Blue Nation

West Virginia football closed its home slate with a 31-23 victory over Texas in Morgantown on Saturday.

The Mountaineers (5-6, 4-5 Big 12) had one of their best offensive days of the season, gaining 459 yards of total offense without committing a turnover. The victory keeps WVU in bowl contention, while the Longhorns (4-7, 3-6 Big 12) likely fall out of the realm of bowl eligibility.

WVU went ahead right on the opening drive as it methodically drove down the field, setting Jarret Doege up to throw his first of three touchdowns in the contest to Sam James.

Doege added another touchdown at the start of the second quarter to put WVU up by two scores. He finished the game with 290 yards and a 63-percent completion rate.

Texas struggled offensively to start the contest, opening with four straight threes-and-out — but Keilan Robinson broke that trend when he put the first Longhorn points on the board with a 49-yard touchdown to get back within a possession.

Leddie Brown came up big for WVU, notching 158 rushing yards (his second-best yardage of the year) and a touchdown in the second quarter.

Both of the Longhorns’ first two touchdowns came off explosive plays, with the second coming in the third quarter to get within a touchdown after a switch at quarterback. Backup Hudson Card came in for a spell and found Xavier Worthy for 52 yards to open the scoring in the second half.

The Mountaineers answered minutes later as Doege completed his hat trick with a 7-yard connection to Sean Ryan.

Texas kept the game close into the final minutes and had a potentially game-tying drive in the fourth quarter. The offense moved into WVU territory, but the Mountaineer defense came up big to bring up fourth down — but the Senior Day magic came up big as safety Sean Mahone snagged an interception to allow the WVU offense to whittle the clock down.

Mahone’s pick was just the last example of the Senior Day magic, as Brown added a touchdown on his final home game. Josh Chandler-Semedo made 12 total tackles and a half-sack on defense, while Alonzo Addae, Scottie Young and Jackie Matthews cobined for 11 tackles in the secondary. Dante Stills added a trio of stops as well.

On offense, Sean Ryan caught two passes for 13 yards, including the 7-yard score. Punter Tyler Sumpter also had a solid day in his final home game, kicking 44.3 yards on average and pinning Texas inside its own 20 twice in four punts.

All of those Mountaineers walked in the Senior Day ceremony before kickoff — however WVU’s head coach was keen to note that not all of the players in that class have necessarily decided their futures as they still have one more year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

The Longhorns gained 355 yards of total offense, 203 of which came on the ground. Robinson finished with 111 yards and a score, while Roschon Johnson added 80 yards and a touchdown as well.

Starting quarterback Casey Thompson struggled, completing just four of his 14 attempts for 29 yards with an interception. Card went 10-for-16 with 123 yards and the touchdown.

West Virginia closes the regular season on Nov. 27 when it travels to Kansas to face the Jayhawks. With a victory, the Mountaineers would become bowl eligible.

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