- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
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In front of the largest ever crowd at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium -- 101,851 fans -- Texas and West Virginia have gone back and forth on offense. The largest lead of the first half was 14 for WVU. The longest scoring drive of the first half consumed 3:27 off the clock.
Stat of the half: The two quarterbacks have combined for 303 yards. While West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has the edge with 169 yards on 15 of 24, Texas quarterback David Ash has hung in the game and thrown for 124 yards on 8 of 12 passing.
Player of the half: Texas defensive end Alex Okafor blocked a field goal attempt and knocked loose a ball from Geno Smith that was recovered by Jackson Jeffcoat for a touchdown. Okafor has been part of a defense that has sacked the West Virginia quarterback three times.
What's working for Texas: The Texas defensive line has been able to put pressure on Smith. The quarterback, who had been sacked only four times coming into the game, was sacked three times in the first half. Those sacks played into two consecutive series in which the WVU offense had minus-27 yards and fumbled the ball away for the Texas touchdown.
What's working for West Virginia: The Mountaineers have had their way on fourth down. Two of West Virginia's touchdowns came after a fourth-down conversions. The first of those came on a play Texas initially had stopped. West Virginia had elected to go for it at the Texas 40, and Geno Smith was sacked on that play. But Texas had called a timeout just before the snap, nullifying the play and the sack. With another chance, West Virginia hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The Mountaineers converted a fourth-and-nine later in the second on their way to another score.
What Texas needs to do to keep winning: The Longhorns have to continue to pick up points on defense and excel in special teams. While the Longhorns have been poor in kick coverage, they have blocked a field goal as well as a punt. The defense also scored a touchdown for Texas.