In a thrilling back-and-forth shootout of a game, No. 13 West Virginia took down the No. 17 Texas Longhorns after Will Grier ran in for a go-ahead two-point conversation to put the Mountaineers up 42-41 with just 16 seconds to play.
As tough of a loss as this one was, there were some positive takeaways regarding the freshman. Especially the freshman cornerback Anthony Cook. Against a versatile receiving corp, Cook played very well matched up one-on-one with them.
Herman plugged the freshman defensive tackles Keondre Coburn and Moro Ojomo in on the same drive for their first collegiate playing experience. They gave some energy to the defensive line and created some push up-the-middle.
With the new NCAA redshirt rule, which allows players to play up to four games without burning a redshirt, expect the Longhorns to manage those numbers carefully. To keep track of the new redshirt rule, the number of games that each player has appeared in will be listed next to their position. This will be updated game-by-game. If there is no number listed next to their position, this means they’ve already exceeded the four-game limit and can no longer redshirt. Eleven true freshmen have surpassed that mark, so far. DeMarvion Overshown was the latest after playing in his fifth game against West Virginia.
At the weekly press conference on Monday, Tom Herman talked on managing the four-game redshirt rule.
Keaontay Ingram (RB): Ingram was held in check for the most part against West Virginia’s run defense. He had a season-low 30 yards on 13 carries (2.3 YPC). He conceded snaps to Tre Watson, who had his best game of the season.
Ingram will look to get back on track against a Texas Tech defense that’s allowing over 160.7 rushing yards per game, which ranks No. 64 nationally.
Season Stats: 90 carries for 485 yards (5.4 YPC) — 2 TDs, 14 receptions for 71 yards — TD (5.1 YPC)
Brennan Eagles (WR): Despite not being targeted once, Eagles played a significant amount of snaps at the ZWR position on Saturday.
Season Stats: 1 reception for 35 yards
D’Shawn Jamison (WR/KR/PR): Jamison had a really nice 29-yard punt return to set the offense up near midfield. Outside of his punt returned for a touchdown, this was the freshman longest return of the season. Lil’ Jordan Humphrey handled the kick return duties.
Season Stats: 2 carries for -6 yards, 3 receptions for 2 yards, 10 kick returns — 20.2 YPR, 8 punt returns — 13.9 YPR - TD
Keondre Coburn (DT-1): Making his Longhorn debut, Coburn notched his first career solo tackle.
Season Stats: 1 tackle (solo)
Moro Ojomo (DT-1): Just like Coburn, Ojomo made his Longhorn debut alongside his fellow freshman defensive tackle. On a day where the Longhorns defense seemingly struggled to get much pressure on the quarterback, the freshman Ojomo had a quarterback pressure on Grier.
Joseph Ossai (LB): Although he didn’t record any statistics, the backup B-backer was in on special teams, once again.
Season Stats: 2 tackles
DeMarvion Overshown (LB/S): For the fifth straight week, Overshown received playing time on special teams. Overshown’s potential chance to redshirt is gone now.
Season Stats: 1 tackle
Anthony Cook (CB): After starting cornerback Davante Davis left the game with an arm injury on the first defensive drive, it was the freshman’s turn at cornerback. Cook held his own against a talented group of wide receivers, even when he was matched up against Gary Jennings and David Sills. Cook totaled six tackles (four solo) and had a crucial pass breakup in the endzone which saved a touchdown. He stuck with the route the whole time and timed up the deflection perfectly to get his hands on the pass.
Davis is listed as questionable for this week’s game at Texas Tech with a neck sprain. If he is unable to play, Cook will make his second start at cornerback in three weeks. Texas Tech’s big body wide receivers — T.J. Vasher and Antoine Wesley — pose a threat to the lesser experienced Cook. We’ll see if the formerly highly-touted prospect is up to the challenge come Saturday.
Season Stats: 10 tackles (6 solo), PBU
Jalen Green (CB): Just like Overshown, Green appeared on special teams again in this one.
B.J. Foster (S): Against another air-raid attacking offense, Foster got the start as the rover safety in Todd Orlando’s defensive package. He recorded two solo tackles.
Season Stats: 23 tackles (17 solo), 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, INT, FF, 2 PDs
Caden Sterns (S): Sterns struggled in coverage and against the run this week. Although he wrapped up six tackles (five solo), he made a couple of costly mistakes down the stretch of this one.
West Virginia running back Martell Pettaway bulled over Sterns on his way to a 55-yard touchdown. While it was a perfectly placed throw, Sterns let Gary Jennings get behind him for a 33-yard touchdown catch to put the Mountaineers within one point. Knowing the time and score of the game, you simply cannot get beat deep in that instant. At the worst, the defense keeps things in front of them for the next couple of plays and then the game comes down to one play to the endzone.
Season Stats: 39 tackles (27 solo), 0.5 TFL, 4 INTs, Blocked FG, PD
Cameron Dicker (K): Dicker went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting from 22 and 38 yards out. Up by just one point, Texas desperately needed these six points from Dicker to put them ahead by a full seven points.
Season Stats: 12-17 FG (70.1%) — 3-3 20-29 yards, 3-4 30-39 yards, 6-9 40-49 yards, 0-1 50+ yards, 30-30 XPs (100%)
Ryan Bujcevski (P): With the offense rolling and sustaining drives, not much was asked out of Bujcevski. He punted just once for 48 yards and pinned it inside-the-20.
41 punts — 39.7 YPP, 12 downed inside-the-20, 7 50+ yards