Alex De La Torre
(36) scored the game-winning TD in Texas' victory at West Virginia. (Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)
The Mack Brown Revival Tour rolled through Morgantown on Saturday, as Texas beat West Virginia 47-40 in overtime. Following the Longhorns’ sixth straight win -- all in Big 12 play -- Texas' Nov. 16 showdown with Oklahoma State suddenly features major conference title implications.
For a while, it didn't seem things would work out that way. After Mountaineers quarterback Paul Millard connected with Mario Alford for a 72-yard score with 7:39 to play, West Virginia led 40-37. But the 'Horns were able to answer with an Anthony Fera 24-yard field goal in the waning seconds, and Texas got the ball first in overtime. Case McCoy (27-of-49, 282 yards, three touchdowns, one interception) threw a touchdown pass to Alex De La Torre from two yards out. The defense stopped the Mountaineers on the ensuing possession. Texas' players promptly raced across the field in celebration after improving to 7-2 (6-0) on the year.
It wasn’t all sunshine for Texas, however, as the ‘Horns lost both running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley to leg injuries. Whaley had scored defensive touchdowns in two of the team's previous three games, while Gray was quietly putting together a very solid sophomore campaign. Whaley was carted off the field, and Gray was taken to the locker room before returning in street clothes and on crutches. West Virginia also lost a critical component, as quarterback Clint Trickett left the game following a big hit that left him crumpled on the turf.
Obviously, Texas' winning streak has been impressive following the team's disastrous 1-2 start, but losing those two players for a significant amount of time could significantly hurt the Longhorns' momentum moving forward. That's especially true with games against the Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor remaining.
The Longhorns' recent surge might not be enough to save Brown's job with a new athletic director in the fold, but it won't be for lack of trying. Texas not only has a pulse, but it's also starting to believe, which is remarkable considering just how close the team was to implosion during a 31-30 win over Iowa State on Oct. 3.
Faith is a dangerous thing.