Defense struggles to slow Texas passing game
College Football Videos
AUSTIN, Texas — West Virginia's defense struggled against another good offense Saturday night.
Without a consistent pass rush, the Mountaineers are vulnerable through the air. And when their cornerbacks don't crowd the line of scrimmage, it's an open invitation for opponents to throw.
Texas led, 28-27, at halftime because West Virginia couldn't stop the pass.
The Mountaineers were particularly vulnerable on three wheel routes that totaled 77 yards, including completions to wide-open receivers on consecutive plays on the same drive.
The three passes covered two separate drives, and the Longhorns scored touchdowns both times. On each occasion, Texas scored immediately after a Mountaineers score.
Getting a good look
A season-high 10 NFL teams scouted West Virginia during the Texas game.
The contingent of scouts and front-office personnel featured the Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and New York Jets, who sent two scouts.
Speculation already has surfaced regarding the Jets locking in on West Virginia senior Geno Smith as a potential solution to their quarterback woes.
Ex-PSU kicker finally plays
Junior kicker Anthony Fera was expected to win the starting job at Texas this season after transferring from Penn State.
Listed behind freshmen Nick Jordan and Nick Rose on depth chart, Fera didn't see action until Saturday night, when he drilled his first five extra points and made a 38-yard field goal in third quarter.
Odds and ends
West Virginia's halftime deficit was its first of the season. Mountaineers also trailed after three quarters for the first time in 2012. ... The Mountaineers were 0 for 4 on fourth down this season before converting twice on the same drive in the first quarter against the Longhorns. Included was a 40-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin. ... Entering Saturday night, West Virginia had played 135 games against ranked opponents, with 40 resulting in wins. Since 2001, the Mountaineers have 16 wins over ranked teams, including their past three meetings. Texas is the second ranked team West Virginia has faced this season.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.