Sunday, November 10, 2013
What we learned: Week 11
By Max Olson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas survived and knocked off West Virginia 47-40 on Saturday in the first overtime game of Mack Brown's career, improving to 7-2 and 6-0 in Big 12 play. Here are three big takeaways from the Longhorns' last-second win.
1. Give West Virginia some credit We usually stay Bevo-centric with these lessons learned on Sundays, but let's stop for a moment and acknowledge West Virginia's performance. The Mountaineers were truly just as resilient as the Longhorns, overcoming the loss of quarterback Clint Trickett to an apparent concussion and rallying repeatedly. Paul Millard was put in a tough spot in replacing Trickett, even if he inherited a 9-3 lead, and played well. Charles Sims is the real deal. The Mountaineers made a few big plays on defense, found ways to exploit Texas' soft pass coverage and scored 40 on a defense that hadn't given up two touchdowns in a game in more than a month. Give them credit.
2. Take what the D gives you It's hard to believe that Texas' defense was able to force five turnovers and it still wasn't enough to prevent this game from going to overtime and down to the final play. Texas did score off each of its first four takeaways but settled for field goals three times. This isn't a nitpick, just the truth: Texas needs to get six points on more of those opportunities if it hopes to knock off its final three opponents. In big games like these, every takeaway has the potential to be a game-changer, especially if your opponent is scoring off your mistakes. You have to capitalize when your defense is playing as well as Texas' was early Saturday night.
3. McCoy magic is indisputable Case McCoy is not playing flawless by any means. His INT-TD ratio is now 8-6 on the year, and yet Texas is still 6-0 in the league. He'll mix in a bad ball or two on most possessions. But he made some terrific throws against West Virginia, none better than the corner route to Jaxon Shipley. He found Shipley on fourth down and Mike Davis for the 49-yard bomb. He made a good toss on the overtime touchdown pass to Alex De La Torre. He led critical drives and finished strong. He'll need to cut down on the miscues, but McCoy continues to surprise.