Texas vs. West Virginia reaction and highlights: Defenses impress despite high-scoring affair

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia and Texas engaged in a 47-40 defensive battle. In football.

Texas continued their strong start to Big 12 play, going on the road to defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers by a score of 47-40 in overtime.

West Virginia got off to a good start -- they were gifted a safety by the Longhorns and then scored a few minutes later on Charles Sims's three-yard touchdown run. Texas took the lead back after Anthony Fera kicked a field goal and Malcolm Brown ran in for a touchdown, but West Virginia responded with Sims six-yard touchdown run. The two teams traded field goals before the half, leaving West Virginia with a 19-13 lead at the break.

Texas had a strong third quarter, and was able to retake the lead. Fera kicked a 29-yard field goal to bring it within three, but Charles Sims extended the Mountaineer lead with another short touchdown run. The Longhorns scored two touchdowns in a four minute period at the end of the quarter -- Case McCoy's 49-yard pass to Mike Davis and Joe Bergeron's eight-yard run -- and it was 30-26 heading into the fourth.

Dreamius Smith started out the fourth quarter with an eight-yard touchdown run, and Texas responded with McCoy's eight-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Shipley. West Virginia took the lead when backup quarterback Paul Millard found Mario Alford for a 72-yard score, but Fera was able to tie it up with 13 seconds left with his fourth field goal of the game.

The two teams made it to overtime, where Texas got the ball first. On the sixth play of their drive, McCoy found Alex De La Torre for a two-yard touchdown. West Virginia looked ready to respond when Alford started overtime with a 20-yard run, but Texas was able to stuff the Mountaineer offense and force a fourth down interception in the end zone to end the game.

Scipio Tex at Barking Carnival says that while the win was hard to come by, it's one the Longhorns can be very pleased with.

A flawed win can sit in your craw a lot of different ways - from "eh, we'll take it and go get 'em next week" to "this feels like a loss and portent of awful things to come", but when Steve Edmond sealed the game with consecutive plays on the ball in overtime that would make Ed Reed blush with pride, and the Horn players sprinted to the visitor's section, I immediately forgave four quarters of mistakes to marvel at what makes college football so unique and so awesomely enjoyable: guileless displays of uncalculating, spontaneous, total joy.

At that moment, I didn't care what this may mean for Mack's future or what it says about our team against Baylor, much less Oklahoma State. Texas won. Hook 'em.

Wescott Eberts at Burnt Orange Nation credited the Longhorns' defensive line play, even if the win was not overly impressive.

The defensive line for the Longhorns was dominant through most of the game, with endsCedric Reed and Jackson Jeffcoat both coming up with huge plays to create sacks and force and recover fumbles, along with the emergence of defensive tackle Desmond Jackson replacing Whaley. Jackson had multiple plays behind the line of scrimmage and came in to hit Trickett on the play that knocked the West Virginia starter out of the game.

Imperfect, but hardly hollow and just enough, Texas survived and advanced. On the road in Morgantown on a night that resembled trips to Ames on weekdays, that was all that mattered.

Mountaineer Chuck at Smoking Musket said that despite the final score, West Virginia's defense stepped up yet again against a tough opponent.

WVU's defense has been remarkable this season, and certainly tonight. At the same time, UT played into WVU's strength - which is defending the run. A number of times I marveled at what Texas was thinking by continuing to run. When they threw it short, they moved it - when they ran or threw long, we stuffed it. I wondered why they didn't throw it a lot.

But WVU's defense was stellar. And it wasn't just a couple of players. Nothing tells us more about this defense than the fact that Karl Joseph doesn't have to make every play, as he did last year.

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Bowl projections: Bama-FSU and 34 other games

Behold Stanford, your weird nerd overlord

Stanford, Auburn, OSU favored in next week’s big games

Long reads: Has Baylor crafted the ultimate football offense?

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