The Texas Longhorns have dropped five straight and are in desperate need of a win. Bijan Robinson is out for the remainder of the season due to injury, but the Longhorns get Jordan Whittington back in the lineup as Texas heads to Morgantown.
Does Texas have enough gas in the tank to win a road game over West Virginia and remain one game from bowl eligibility with one game left on the season? If so, they will have to stop Mountaineer running back Leddie Brown, who averages 4.4 yards per carry.
The HornSports Staff shares their thoughts on the outcome of the Texas vs. West Virginia matchup.
Trying to analyze this team after last weekend’s historically brutal loss is hitting your head against the proverbial brick wall. There are a few stats that stick out ahead of this match-up in Morgantown, but the reality is much of that is insignificant if Texas continues to display inconsistent effort and fails to play a clean game as they have on this seemingly never-ending five-game losing streak. This is a winnable game against a down West Virginia team with an identical record, but I have no more benefit of the doubt to give especially when the good guys have won a single road game and are particularly sluggish away from DKR. The return of Jordan Whittington to the line-up is a nice addition, but I question how much protection Casey Thompson will have against a Mountaineers DL that is very good at getting in the opponent’s backfield. On the other side of things, I fully expect Leddie Brown to have a solid game – West Virginia wins when he has 100+ yards rushing – and for an up-and-down Jarret Doege to have his opportunities to find a rhythm. The streak hits six games, unfortunately.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 30, Texas 24
Devon Messinger (5-5)
For the first time since 1956, the Longhorns have lost five games in a row. Now, the Longhorns will have to flip the script and win two games in a row to clinch bowl eligibility. In Texas's way stands the West Virginia Mountaineers, a fellow 4-6 team striving for bowl eligibility.
The Mountaineers offense is led by redshirt senior quarterback Jarret Doege and senior running back Leddie Brown. However, West Virginia's star power is predominantly on the defensive side of the ball, where senior linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo is leading the team in tackles with 84. Additionally, defensive linemen Dante Stills and Taijh Alston have combined for 11 sacks this season and are bound to challenge Texas's offensive line.
Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Bijan Robinson is sidelined for the rest of the season after dislocating his elbow in last weekend's game. While this game is not unwinnable, things are not looking too bright for a team that just lost a home game to the Kansas Jayhawks. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 27, Texas 24
Jameson McCausland (7-3)
It's tough to know where Texas is mentally right now. They are coming off a loss to Kansas, Steve Sarkisian is openly talking about roster turnover, a bowl game is a longshot and the defense can't stop anybody. All the signs point to a team that is going to struggle going on the road and trying to win a football game against another team fighting for bowl eligibility.
Texas getting Jordan Whittington back is big for the offense, but the Longhorns will be without Bijan Robinson and Jonathan Brooks. The trend line this season says that when the Texas offense plays a decent defense, they struggle. Casey Thompson has put up some big numbers in conference play, but if you look under the hood 11 of his 20 passing touchdowns in Big 12 play have come against Texas Tech and Kansas. Texas is going to need Thompson to take care of the football and play a clean game if they want to walk out with a victory.
Ultimately, I think this game comes down to how the Longhorns defense is playing. West Virginia has several quality weapons at WR and a quality RB. It's hard to trust the Texas defense right now and that is why I believe West Virginia wins this game.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 35, Texas 28
Aaron Carrara (6-4)
Texas and West Virginia are fairly identical in terms of capability and deficiencies. Both have the potential to put up a lot of points, but Texas lacks a defense that can stop the run and Mountaineer quarterback Jarret Doege is averaging one interception a game. Pete Kwiatkowski's guys are tasked with stopping another prolific rusher in Leddie Brown, and they haven't proven through 10 games that they have any semblance of being able to. With that being said, I think Casey Thompson will take his downfield shots and the passing game comes up big today. The return of Jordan Whittington pays off for Sarkisian and Xavier Worthy and Marcus Washington have big days for the Texas offense. The Longhorns leave Morgantown with a narrow win thanks to turnovers.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, West Virginia 34
Mitch Lovell (5-5)
It’s very hard to imagine Texas winning in a hostile environment especially after losing to Kansas and tanking five in a row. No Bijan Robinson combined with Leddie Brown's rushing ability spells trouble for Texas in Morgantown.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 28, Texas 24
Tristan Larsen (6-4)
Texas is in a tailspin, the likes of which that haven’t been seen in Austin since the 50s. As if the 5 consecutive losses and the overtime meltdown to the Jayhawks wasn’t enough, Texas lost start back Bijan Robinson foe the remainder of the year. While the future is still bright, year 1 of the all has no breaks era has been a bit disappointing to say the least. However, Texas can potentially salvage this season with a win against fellow 4-6 Big-12 program, West Virginia. This has just seemed like a lost season for Texas as of late. While still chalkfull of talent, they haven’t shown the ability to be taken seriously as of late. When you make the Jayhawks offense look like last years Bama squad, then imagine what a West Virginia can do. As much as I want to have hope that Texas can turn this around, I just don’t see it.
Score Prediction: West Virginia 27, Texas 23