The Texas Longhorns earned a winning record and its first Big 12 win of the season after topping West Virginia 38-20 at Darrell K. Royal Stadium on Saturday.
The Longhorn offense had an explosive performance in front of 100,740 spectators in Austin, putting on a near-perfect first half to build an insurmountable lead ove the Mountaineers. WVU, on the other hand, struggled to get its offense consistently moving, and a late comeback proved to be not enough
After punting on its opening drive, Texas scored 28 unanswered points on four straight drives to get an early four-possession lead. Xavier Worthy caught the first touchdown for the Longhorns while Ja’Tavion Sanders caught two — one from quarterback Hudson Card and another on a trick play from Worthy.
Bijan Robinson added a 1-yard rushing score and finished with 102 yards on 21 carries.
JT Daniels scored the first touchdown for WVU with 13 seconds left in the first half when he found Kaden Prather from eight yards out.
WVU’s offense struggled to find explosive plays throughout the game. Daniels had just three completions over 20 yards in the contest, while WVU’s running backs had just one run for double-digit yards. That resulted in a series of long, time-consuming drives in the second half as the Mountaineers attempted to mount a comeback — WVU’s scoring drives lasted an average of 15 plays, while Texas’s lasted an average of six.
The Mountaineers finished with 314 yards in the game, their lowest total of the season. Daniels was 29-of-48 with 253 yards and a touchdown at the final whistle, while Bryce Ford-Wheaton led the team with 93 receiving yards on eight catches.
WVU scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one by Tony Mathis Jr. and another by Justin Johnson Jr. Those scores still left an 18-point deficit on the scoreboard with 4:31 left on the clock as Texas held the ball.
The Longhorns successfully held possession long enough to bleed the clock and end the contest.
Card finished the game 21-of-27 with 303 yards and three touchdowns. Worthy made seven receptions for 119 yards with two touchdowns, including a highlight tip-drill catch in the back of the end zone in the third quarter.
As a whole, the Texas offense gained 7.43 yards per play. WVU gained 4.03 yards per snap.
The WVU running back room was dealt a massive blow in the third quarter when CJ Donaldson, the team’s leading rusher in 2022, fell with an injury after taking an apparent blow to the head and neck area. Both West Virginia’s and Texas’s training staffs were on the field for around 10 minutes as they needed to cut Donaldson out of his shoulder pads, load him on a stretcher and cart him off the field.
Donaldson acknowledged the cheering crowd on the way out with a thumbs up.
He was one of two Mountaineers that left the game with an injury, as tight end Mike O’Laughlin walked off the field with team staff after taking a hit to his leg.
Texas improves to 3-2 on the season with the victory and earns its first Big 12 win of the year in decisive fashion in front of its home crowd. The Longhorns even the all-time series with the Mountaineers at six games.
West Virginia falls to 3-2 and opens the conference slate with two losses.
The Mountaineers take a much-needed bye week after the loss before preparing for its third straight prime time game. They return to Milan Puskar Stadium on Oct. 13 when they face Baylor at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.