Texas fell 23-31 to West Virginia on Saturday, as the Longhorn losing streak continues for a sixth-consecutive week. The Mountaineers of Morgantown seized control of the game on their first drive and have since controlled their bowl destiny.
Here are five key takeaways from Texas’ 23-31 loss to West Virginia:
For once, there was nothing miraculous about Texas’ defeat. The loss and the way it was dealt with were not surprising. This is the standard for Longhorn football fans. There was no overtime drama, no second-half capitulation or any other drama. West Virginia took the lead from the first drive and has not looked back. Texas was saved by Hudson Card, its quarterback, and strong contributions from Roschon Johnson and Keilan Robinson as running backs. However, there was still an inevitability to the loss. It’s difficult to pinpoint the causes of Texas’ losses at this stage. The program is toxic right now.
For the second-straight week, Texas got off to an abysmal start. The Longhorns went three-and-out on their first four drives, and they ended the first quarter with 14 total yards of offense. West Virginia, on the other hand was able move the ball downfield effortlessly. The Mountaineers scored their first drive and held the lead for the remainder of the game.
It took a pair of 30-plus yard runs from Keilan Robinson for the Texas offense to finally get going on Saturday. Robinson’s 49-yard touchdown put Texas on the board. Casey Thompson went just four of 12 in the first half, before he was benched for Card yet again.
Thompson benched again
Just as there was no surprise about the defeat, there was no surprise that Hudson Card took over the Texas offense at halftime.
Thompson was benched against Iowa State, then split time with Card last weekend against Kansas. Texas coach Steve Sarkisian stated that Thompson would be the first to start against West Virginia, and that Card would not receive any playing time.
Unfortunately, Saturday was not as planned for Sarkisian. He didn’t look as good after Card’s introduction, but he was still more efficient than Thompson. Card was injured in the fourth quarter and had to be replaced. The Lake Travis product went nine for 13 for 119 yards before picking up the injury. The highlight of his day, and Texas’, was a phenomenal 52-yard bomb of a throw that found Xavier Worthy in stride for a touchdown. After Thompson returned to the contest after Card was injured, he threw an awful interception that would secure the West Virginia victory.
No Bijan, no problem
Texas’ run game was certainly not at fault for the loss. Keilan Robinson and Roschon Johnson had a great day, as Texas amassed over 200 yards on the ground. In the first half, Robinson tore off a 49-yard touchdown to jumpstart the Texas offense. Robinson finished the game with 111 yards on only nine carries, after Johnson started in the backfield for Texas. In the second half, the third-year back, Robinson, galvanized the Texas offense yet again with a 25-yard run. Johnson capped off that drive with a touchdown, and finished the game with 77 yards on 15 carries.
After its sixth-straight loss, Texas will now finish the season with a losing record and will not be bowl eligible. Next Friday, the Longhorns will host Kansas State at home to end their terrible season. There is seemingly nothing left to play for. For Sarkisian, the post-Thanksgiving contest will be an opportunity to continue weeding out the bad eggs in the group and to cut personnel in order to field 33 new scholarship players, as is his stated goal for the offseason.
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