Defense lifts Longhorns to 17-13 win over West Virginia, No. 21 AP ranking

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Late in the third, Texas caught a break when West Virginia wideout Winston Wright Jr. couldn’t corral a wide-open 9-yard touchdown pass. On the next play, Overshown sacked Jarret Doege on a blitz to force the Mountaineers to settle for a field goal.

Good teams take advantage of poor decisions and mistakes, and Texas did that, but it’s worth pointing out the Mountaineers had some key miscues.  

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger clearly was playing hurt, but he made a brilliant pass to wide receiver Jake Smith on what turned out to be the game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass midway through the third. He bided his time in the pocket, wasn’t affected by pressure and threw a perfect pass. This came two plays after he floated a ball to an open Brennan Eagles in the end zone that was broken up late and was another sign Ehlinger was playing hurt.

The Smith touchdown was the perfect response to West Virginia’s drive to open the half that resulted in a field goal.

It never will be known what would have happened regarding the coaching staff had Texas lost this game, but Ehlinger’s play in crucial moments today, against Oklahoma State and in the comeback against Texas Tech is a big reason the heat hasn’t been severely turned up on Tom Herman.

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