- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
AUSTIN, Texas -- Thoughts on Texas' 48-45 loss to West Virginia:
1. Texas defensive line: Bookends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat proved what dominant forces they can be on the field. Okafor had two sacks and forced two fumbles. Jeffcoat recovered one of those fumbles for a touchdown, assisted on a sack and had a tackle for loss. The rush must continue to be consistent as Texas goes up against senior Landry Jones and a pass offense that appeared to hit its stride against Texas Tech.
2. Johnathan Gray: Texas would like to have Malcolm Brown back but it appears, just from the boot and the crutches that Brown sported Saturday, it could be another game or two before the running back is ready to play for Texas. In the meantime Texas has been able to get production out of Gray. The freshman has been a weapon in the wild formation as well as a traditional back. Gray had a career-high 87 yards against West Virginia.
3. Special teams: Texas was able to block a field goal and a punt. The Longhorns have five blocks on the season and 59 in the past 10 seasons.
1. Red zone defense: Texas allowed WVU seven scores in seven trips inside the red zone. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that was the difference in the game. Last week, when Texas eked out a win against Oklahoma State,t he Longhorns were able hold the Cowboys several field goals when they made it into the red zone. Texas needed to do just that on WVU's last drive of the game but could not manage it.
2. Rush defense: Mack Brown is having a hard time coming to grips with how ineffective his rush defense has become. The Longhorns had long been at the top of the NCAA stats when it came to yards allowed. Coming into the WVU game, the Longhorns were allowing 180 yards per game. The Mountaineers had 192 yards.
3. Fourth-down defense: West Virginia was 5-of-5 on fourth downs, including a 40-yard touchdown pass. While giving up those fourth downs was bad enough it was the distance covered WVU on each fourth down that should stagger Texas' defensive swagger. The yardages were two, four, nine, six and one. That's an average of 4.4 yards per fourth down converted.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Thoughts on Texas' 48-45 loss to West Virginia: THREE UP:1. Texas defensive line: Bookends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat proved what dominant forces they can be on the field.