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Tale of the Tape: Texas vs. West Virginia

Joe Cook09/30/22
Article written by:On3 imageJoe Cook

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tale-of-the-tape-texas-vs-west-virginia
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The West Virginia Mountaineers head to Austin this weekend to take on the Texas Longhorns in a battle of 2-2 teams, with both seeking to stay above .500 and avoid an 0-2 start in Big 12 play.

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Where does each team potentially have an advantage? The Tale of the Tape explains.

Quarterback

No matter who starts at quarterback for the Longhorns, that person is 1) not playing at a full 100 percent and 2) splitting snaps in the leadup to Saturday’s game. JT Daniels has been the unquestioned starter all year, is at full health, and is proficient in the Mountaineer offense.

Tale of the tape: Advantage WVU

Running back

Other factors outside the control of this position have limited Texas’ ability to run the football this year, and CJ Donaldson has been a revelation for WVU. That said, Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson, and Keilan Robinson top just about every other running back room in the Big 12, and possibly the country.

Tale of the tape: Advantage Texas

Wide receiver

Much of this depends on whether Xavier Worthy is back or not. With him, even on a pitch count, Texas has a strong group despite the acumen of WVU’s Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Kaden Prather. Plus, with a potential expanded role for Agiye Hall, the Longhorns could add some explosiveness to the lineup it has sorely missed since the injury to Isaiah Neyor. If Worthy plays, this one goes to Texas.

Tale of the tape: Advantage Texas

Tight end

Ja’Tavion Sanders has made impacts in games this season without making tremendous impacts on the stat sheet. That should continue this week, and he should get more opportunities in the pass game if other members of the Longhorn offense can’t go.

Tale of the tape: Major advantage Texas 

Offensive line

Texas has been proficient in pass protection this year, but has lacked push in the run game. WVU brings a veteran unit to Austin, but it has had its ups and downs. Neither group is fantastic, neither group is terrible.

Tale of the tape: Even

Defensive line

Somehow Dante Stills is on the Mountaineer roster in what seems like his 8th year of eligibility. The Longhorns need Moro Ojomo in this game, though the group has some of the best depth on the team. Neither grouping has an elite pass-rusher, so Texas’ depth gives them the ever-so-slight upper hand.

Tale of the tape: Advantage Texas

Linebacker

With DeMarvion Overshown and Jaylan Ford set to start both halves this week, it’s a positive for Texas. However, WVU has played well versus the run and that’s been an issue for the Longhorns this year.

Tale of the tape: Advantage WVU

Secondary

What will the secondary lean on this week? West Virginia has put together some good showings, as have the Longhorns. But Texas is coming off a game where the defensive backfield suffered death by 1000 cuts. Can a WVU group with a decent level of solid play make up ground against the Longhorns this week? Maybe, they don’t have the experience playing together like the Longhorns do, and are down their best corner.

Tale of the tape: Advantage Texas

Specialists

Both teams have good, though not great, specialists.

Tale of the tape: Advantage Texas