WVU PASS OFFENSE VS. TEXAS PASS DEFENSE
West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall will need some help from his receivers this week against the Longhorns after WVU coach Neal Brown called out his pass catchers for a poor performance two weeks ago at Kansas. Texas, meanwhile, has been hit hard by injuries in its secondary, but should get hard-hitting safety B.J. Foster back this week.
TEXAS PASS OFFENSE VS. WVU PASS DEFENSE
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has the Texas offense rolling and is making few mistakes, with 15 touchdown passes this season compared to just one interception. The Mountaineers have been pretty good at limiting big plays in the passing game so far this season other than one notable breakdown at Kansas, but senior cornerback Keith Washington and the WVU secondary should have their hands full Saturday.
WVU RUN OFFENSE VS TEXAS RUN DEFNSE
The Mountaineers had their best game on the ground last time out against Kansas, led by a two-touchdown effort from senior running back Martell Pettaway. Texas has faces some solid offenses so far in Louisiana State and Oklahoma State and held its own in defending the run. Longhorn defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham leads the team with 4.5 tackles for a loss and as a team, Texas ranks fourth in the Big 12 at 122 rushing yards allowed per game.
TEXAS RUN OFFENSE VS. WVU RUN DEFENSE
UT has not been great on the ground in 2019, but sophomore running back Keontay Ingram and Ehlinger can still be a handful for defenses to account for on in the run game. WVU allows 172.5 rushing yards per game — seventh best in the Big 12. The defensive line has been a strong point for West Virginia this season, led in part by what Brown called “big plays” from sophomore Dante Stills.
Texas has been on of the Big 12’s best on special teams so far this season, with a kickoff return for a touchdown as well as a 57-yard field goal by Cameron Dicker on the resume through four games. West Virginia has been OK on special teams. Kicker Evan Staley is 6 of 9 of field goal attempts this season, punter Josh Growden has been a nice addition to the WVU roster and the Mountaineers have blocked a field goal and a punt this season.
This is one of those classic “on paper” football games where one team, Texas and coach Tom Herman in this case, appears to have every reason in the world to win. The Mountaineers do have some things working in their favor — Neal Brown helped lead Troy to wins against several “blue blood” programs of UT’s ilk at his previous stop and after the way the 2018 game went there will likely be nearly 60,000 WVU fans present with a morning and early afternoon’s worth of tailgating in their system.