Scenarios: West Virginia

Nick Castillo

Texas Wins

… If the defense plays up to its standard. After poor performances against Iowa State and Kansas State, the Longhorns rebounded against Texas Tech, only allowing 225 passing yards against the pass-happy Red Raiders. If Texas can get another great performance from the defense, it can expect to become one win closer to bowl eligibility.

… If the running game can be productive. Texas hasn’t had the production that it expected from its rushing attack this season. With two good running backs in senior Malcolm Brown and junior Johnathan Gray, the Longhorns thought the running game would be their offensive identity, but that plan didn’t come to fruition. But against Texas Tech, the Longhorns finally got their first 100-yard rushing performance from Brown, and they amassed 241 rushing yards. If Texas can get the same production from Brown and Gray against West Virginia, Texas could pull off the upset.

If sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes continues to improve. Swoopes has had a whirlwind season full of ups and downs. The Longhorns will need Swoopes to be at the top of his game in order to beat West Virginia and keep their bowl hopes alive.

… If the special teams are perfect. Junior kicker Nick Rose had a pretty rough start to his season, but he’s continued to improve throughout the year. The punt-return and kick-return teams have also gotten better each week. If the special teams play an error-free game against the Mountaineers, Texas will be in a good position to win Saturday.

Texas Loses

… If the Longhorns can’t contain West Virginia’s passing attack. The Mountaineers rank 11th in passing yards per game, averaging 325.8 yards per contest. If Texas can’t stop West Virginia passing game, it will be a
long afternoon.

… If Texas can’t stop the Mountaineers’ leading receiver, Kevin White. The senior has recorded 1,075 receiving yards and eight touchdowns this season. If the Longhorns want to stop West Virginia’s passing attack, it’s imperative that they contain White.

… If the Longhorn offense struggles. While it may seem obvious, the Longhorn offense needs to play especially well to pull off a victory Saturday. Against top teams, such as Baylor and Kansas state, the offense has really struggled. Texas needs Swoopes and co. to be at their best to knock off the Mountaineers.