McCoy, though, came through. He, and the Texas coaching staff.
For some reason, a handful of WVU opponents have to learn on the field, rather than the film room, to throw the ball downfield.
When the Longhorns did they were successful. Icky Banks was called for an interference call. Mike Davis went for 29 yards. When WVU seemingly had a Darwin Cook interception, K.J. Dillon was called for defensive holding. On third-and-14, Jaxon Shipley burned Cook. At game's end in overtime, Marcus Johnson was wide open for a 14-yard gain to the 5.
"We weren't able to make the plays when it counts," said WVU's Dana Holgorsen.
McCoy ended up 27-of-49 with an interception for 283 yards and three TD passes. It was the key.
In the press box on Saturday night, though, were representatives of the Texas and Pinstripe bowls. With the loss, WVU still has a good shot to land in either.
Here's the deal: The Mountaineers have games at 2-7 Kansas and home against 1-8 Iowa State. They should win both. And it looks as if seven of the 10 Big 12 teams will make the bowl grade.
The guess from here, at this late Saturday moment, has Baylor in the Fiesta, Texas in the Cotton, Oklahoma State in the Alamo, Oklahoma in the Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Tech in the Holiday. That probably leaves WVU and Kansas State, which defeated Texas Tech on Saturday to move to 5-4. Odds are, the Texas Bowl would rather have K-State. So Mountaineer fans are staring at another Pinstripe Bowl against an American Conference team like Rutgers.
Appealing? No. But it makes the most sense. The Texas Bowl is on Dec. 27 at Reliant Stadium in Houston against a Big Ten team (think Iowa). Few from West Virginia are going to fly out immediately after Christmas for a game the next day. The Pinstripe Bowl is on Dec. 28 in the Bronx. At least there's a bit of a chance for that bowl to sell some tickets to WVU fans.
The bowl picture, though, would have looked a lot brighter had the Mountaineers finished off Texas on one chilly November night.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.