#KeysToTheGame: WVU needs to keep the Longhorn offense off the field

Gold and Blue Nation

Maybe the best news for the Mountaineers about their match up with the Longhorns is this game is in Austin. WVU is 4-1 in Austin all-time, 3-1 in Big 12 play and we all remember how the last meeting there ended

WVU will have to find a way to slow the Longhorns offense down they lead the Big 12 in scoring at 44.3 points per game — that’s about 10 more than the Mountaineers. Finally a senior, Sam Ehlinger is the engine behind the ‘Horns offense. He leads the Big 12 in touchdown passes with 20, along with seven more on the ground. More often than not, he finds a way to make a play and win. In last week’s win over Oklahoma State, he only threw for 169 yards but found the end zone three times. Pressure by the Mountaineers front will be important, Texas has allowed 16 sacks this season that’s near the bottom in the Big 12. WVU has found their way to the quarterback 20 times this season 2nd best in the Big 12.

Of course, the Mountaineer defense is one of the best not only in the Big 12 statistically but also in the country. They are only allowing 19.8 points per game, including only 10 in last weeks win over Kansas State. On the other hand, the Longhorns’ defense has not been strong — they are allowing 32.5 points per game, and in last weeks win over OSU, the Longhorns defense gave up 530 yards, including 400 through the air. Jarret Doege and the Mountaineer receivers will have to take advantage of the Longhorns secondary.

One way to combat the Texas offense is to keep them off the field. WVU is actually the second best in the Big 12 in time of possession, holding on to the ball on average 32:48 every game. Leddie Brown can play a key role there on the ground — he’s still second overall in the conference in rushing at 115 yards with eight touchdowns in Big 12 games. As a team, Oklahoma State ran for 118 yards last week.

Interestingly, the Longhorns are actually a more penalized team than the Mountaineers. They are last in the Big 12 at 87.5 yards a game, while WVU is just in front of them at 9th. If the Mountaineers can play disciplined, the Horns might help beat themselves.

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