By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Coach Dana Holgorsen will tell you that Saturday night’s football game at the University of Texas will be West Virginia’s toughest test yet in all three play phases.
“No question, yes,” he said on the Big 12 Conference’s weekly teleconference. “Last week offensively was a different type of attack.
“(The Longhorns) are really good on offense. Defensively, they’re really, really fast. They’ve got tons of speed.
“We’re going to have to be prepared for a lot of blitzing. We’re going to have to play very well, no question.”
Each team is 4-0. The Mountaineers are ranked No. 8 nationally this week and the Longhorns No. 11.
However, Texas has been listed as a seven-point favorite.
In these schools’ only previous meeting on the gridiron, West Virginia eked out a 7-6 win on Oct. 6, 1956, at Austin, Texas.
Holgorsen said, “Texas is playing at a very high level, and they’re doing a great job of taking care of the football.
“They’ve got five backs that will scare you. They’re really good. They’re fast. They’re big and they’re taking care of the ball, too.”
He noted that a couple of Longhorns can “flat-out” run.
“So they’re going to play conventional football which will scare you,” Holgorsen continued. “Our pass defense was atrocious (in last week’s 70-63 win against Baylor).
“We got them in third down situations, but just didn’t make plays in the second half.”
But he thought WVU’s run defense was pretty good against Baylor.
Holgorsen said he felt better about his defense’s performance in that contest than he had felt on Saturday night.
Mack Brown, who’s in his 15th season as Texas head coach, is actually 1-0 against West Virginia. Mack’s North Carolina team defeated WVU 20-13 on Jan. 1, 1997, in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla.
His record at Texas is 145-39. For 28 and a third years, his overall record is 231-113-1.
The Longhorns were 8-5 and Holiday Bowl Champions last year. Forty-four lettermen are holdovers, including 16 starters.
Texas has beaten Wyoming and New Mexico at home, then Ole Miss and Oklahoma State on the road.