Things couldn’t have started out worse for Texas against West Virginia on Saturday night.
The Longhorns’ first two drives against the Mountaineers resulted in a blocked punt for a safety and a fumble. Before Mack Brown could get his headphones adjusted, Texas found itself down 9-0 in a hostile environment.
But things also couldn’t have ended any better for the Longhorns.
Steve Edmond intercepted Paul Millard’s fourth down pass to secure Texas’ come-from-behind 47-40 overtime victory over West Virginia.
The Longhorns (7-2) have now won six games in a row since starting out 1-2. At 6-0 in Big 12 play, they remain in sole possession of first place in the league. Hey, at this rate, Brown might be back for another go-around as Texas head coach next season.
That proposition seemed iffy for long stretches of this game. West Virginia (4-5) overcame a game-ending injury to starting quarterback Clint Trickett to forge a 26-16 lead over the Longhorns midway through the third quarter. That’s when things got exciting.
A 49-yard touchdown pass from Case McCoy to Mike Davis followed by an 8-yard touchdown run by Joe Bergeron put Texas back up, 30-26, heading into the fourth quarter. But West Virginia woke up and Dreamius Smith scored his own 8-yard touchdown to go back up, 33-30. Texas then drove 66 yards in 11 plays with McCoy hitting Jaxon Shipley from 10 yards out and the Longhorns were back in front, 37-33.
West Virginia wasted no time bouncing back as Millard found a streaking Mario Alford over the middle, who took it 72 yards for the go-ahead score. It was now 40-37 in favor of the Mountaineers with 7:26 to play.
The teams traded punts and then Texas took over on its own 36 yards line with 2:25 to play. McCoy drove the Longhorns to the Mountaineer seven yard line and Anthony Fera booted a 24-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
The Longhorns got the ball first and scored on a 2-yard pass from McCoy to Alex De La Torre, setting up the heroics from Edmond on the next series.
It was a tough loss for the Mountaineers, who must now win both of their remaining games at Kansas and at home against Iowa State to become bowl eligible.
As for Texas, it could be headed for a season-ending showdown with Baylor for all the Big 12 marbles, which is something not many people would’ve predicted just a few short weeks ago.