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Cowboys could provide blueprint vs. Texas

AUSTIN, Texas - If West Virginia's offense needs a primer on how to attack the Texas defense tonight, well, the Mountaineers have it right there in front of them, as fresh as can be.

The Dana Holgorsen offense that is all the rage now after a month of cutting though opponents is still pretty much in place at his last coaching stop, Oklahoma State, too. And a week ago the Cowboys rolled up 576 yards and 36 points against the Longhorns.

"We have,'' Holgorsen said, "a whole game of watching how they defended it.''

Of course, that can work a lot of different ways. Yes, West Virginia has a blueprint for all the things that worked well against Texas last week, but the Longhorns are also practicing for the second straight week against the same offense. That has to help.

And the truth is, despite numbers that on the surface would indicate otherwise, Texas pretty much handled the Oklahoma State offense. Yes, the Cowboys gained those 576 yards, but OSU was averaging 687 in three other games. And sure, the Cowboys scored 36 points, but they were averaging 62.

Most significantly, Oklahoma State lost the game. Granted, it came on what was probably a phantom touchdown when Texas tailback Joe Bergeron fumbled as he crossed the goal line with 29 seconds to play, but the bottom line is that Texas found a way to curtail the OSU offense somewhat and win the game.

That will be the goal tonight, too, when No. 8 West Virginia faces No. 11 Texas - just curtail the West Virginia offense and win the game. Texas hopes to repeat the feat from last week.

"You have to make great offenses earn everything they do. Oklahoma State has a great offense. They're not a good offense, they're a great offense,'' Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. "But the first eight times they had the ball they only scored two touchdowns. Touchdowns are what win and lose football games.''

Indeed, Oklahoma State moved the ball, but from the 2-minute mark of the first quarter until just 19 seconds remained in the third, the Cowboys got just two field goals. If Texas can hold West Virginia to nothing but field goals for more than half the game, much of the battle will have been won.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com">dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.

 


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