Two-back set: The first time Chris Warren was lead blocker for D’Onta Foreman, who picked up six yards. Next play, out of same formation, Heard was tackled for a three-yard loss.
The next time out of the two-back set came on Texas’ first play after Foreman’s fumble resulted in a WVU TD. What did he do?
How about taking it to the house from 65 yards out to give Texas a 10-7 lead. Chris Warren with a great, great lead block to allow Foreman’s long run.
Texas’ started the second half in the two-back set with Warren as the lead blocker for Johnathan Gray. It didn’t have near the success as Warren/Foreman. But you could tell that the UT coaching staff thought it had found something there.
I think we would have seen a lot more of that set had Foreman and Gray both not gotten injured.
Davane Davis on Texas’ first defensive possession: He made two great plays on that one, including an interception. He also made a shoestring tackle on a bubble pass.
Malik: He had five tackles in the first quarter alone and finished with a game-high 11. That’s a really good day for a player completely healthy. Jefferson threw up before the game and still put up double-digit tackles. That says a lot.
Heard on third downs through the air: He actually looked really good in these situations to open up the third quarter. He completed passes of 5 yards [Alex De La Torre], 7 yards [Daje Johnson] and then 5 yards to Johnson for a touchdown. Heard also kept the drive alive with an 8-yard run on third down on that drive, which lasted 15 plays and covered 80 yards in 6:21.
Texas’ defense on third downs: This has been a sore spot for UT for most of Strong’s tenure on the 40 Acres, but it improved some today as WVU was only 4-of-13. I’m stretching here, I know, but it was better.
Nick Rose: He hit both of his field goals [31 and 34 yards] and sent all of his five kickoffs into the end zone for touchdowns. When I was down on the field toward the end of the game I can tell you he was easily the most pissed off player, vocally, on the sideline. He was not happy.
Taylor Doyle cost the Longhorns a really good opportunity on their first possession with a fumbled snap on a third down that forced Texas to punt. He had another really high snap that Jerrod Heard was barely able to hang on to on UT’s next possession.
According to Jay Norvell after the game, WVU was doing things to simulate Texas’ snap count and said that’s what caused Doyle to snap the ball when he did.
Norvell said WVU did that a few times during the game and that they had a conversation with the officials about it.
Turnovers: First it was a fumble on an attempted reverse that WVU scooped up for a TD. Then it was a fumble by Tyrone Swoopes that cost Texas a chip-shot FG opportunity. Then it was an interception at the WVU 2 on 4th down by Jerrod Heard, who underthrew Armanti Foreman. Then it was a fumble on kickoff return by Kris Boyd. Then it was another interception by Heard late in the fourth quarter that zapped any hope of UT coming back.
Is that it? I lost count.
Trick plays: Everything was going great for Texas in the first quarter until they tried a reverse handoff. It looked like D’Onta Foreman was going to pitch it to Daje Johnson on a reverse, but he could never get a handle of the handoff.
WVU’s Jared Barber was “Johnny on the Spot” and scooped the ball up for a 42-yard touchdown with 3:39 left in the opening quarter.
Penalties: Texas had 7 for 55 but it seemed like much more than that given the timing of them.
Connor Williams uncharacteristically had two holding penalties. His first wiped out a Jerrod Heard touchdown run on Texas’ first drive. To his defense it didn’t look like he did much of anything to warrant the second flag, which came in the second quarter.
Kent Perkins had a false start with Texas facing a 3rd-and-inches from the WVU 19 last in the second quarter. The following play, Swoopes fumbled taking away any chance of a UT field goal.
Jason Hall: His first head-scratcher came when he tried to toss Skyler Howard to the ground instead of wrapping him up and taking him to the ground. Howard stayed on his feet and got extra yardage.
But his biggest miscue came on WVU’s 53-yard touchdown just before the half. He took a really, really poor angle, undercutting the ball and wasn’t’ able to recover to provide help over the top.
Hall also got beat on a corner fade for a touchdown in the third quarter, never getting his head around to see the ball.
Injuries: Texas had more players forced out of the game due to injuries in this one than at any other game this season. There seemed to be a continuous stream of players going in and out of Texas’ locker room in the second half.
At one point or another D’Onta Foreman, Patrick Vahe, Johnathan Gray, Desmond Jackson, Paul Boyette, Kris Boyd and Davante Davis all went to the locker room.
I saw Vahe after the game with a brace on his left knee and a crutch under his right arm.
I asked Strong about the injuries after the game and he said that Gray had a foot injury but didn’t know how severe.
D’Onta Foreman, from what I understand, dislocated his right pinky finger in the third quarter.
Jackson said the same foot that he injured last season got stepped on in the third quarter.
THIS AND THAT
Interesting... Jacorey Warrick one of the players signaling in plays on sideline with backup quarterbacks.
We were told Edwin Freeman wasn’t going to play this week, but he did play in the fourth quarter after the game was out of reach.
Texas hadn’t overcome a deficit of more than 7 points since Nov. 9… of 2013! That actually came in Morgantown against the Mountaineers.
How much breathing room does Charlie Strong truly have?
Should Kai Locksley still have a redshirt right now or should that have been burnt a long time ago?
How is it possible that Johnathan Gray had more carries (11-51) in the first half and D’Onta Foreman (10-103)?
Why is Dorian Leonard getting more playing time that Deandre McNeal? Leonard goes in often during the “18 Wheeler” package. But he is no threat in passing situations. McNeal can block and catch. So what gives?
Why did Jay Norvell continue to put Jerrod Heard in passing situations when it was a two-possession game and UT was clearly doing something right on the ground with close to 300 yards rushing?
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Why not at least try to take a shot down field and get into field goal range before the half with three timeouts left?