West Virginia-Texas Preview Capsule

No. 8 West Virginia (4-0, 1-0) at No. 11 Texas (4-0, 1-0), 7 p.m., (Fox)

Line: Texas by 6 ½.

Series: West Virginia leads 1-0.


The winner gets the early label as favorite to win the Big 12. West Virginia QB Geno Smith can really fire up the Heisman Trophy talk with another big game passing and another win in the Mountaineer's first Big 12 road game in front of 100,000 screaming fans and a national TV audience.


Smith vs. Texas DEs Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor. The Texas defense is struggling but still has playmakers galore, starting with a pair of outstanding rush ends. Texas thinks Smith is too comfortable in the pocket and hasn't been tested under pressure. If the Longhorns can hit Smith, or at least disrupt his timing and force a few incompletions and punts, the Longhorns should be able to keep up. If Smith has time to pick apart the secondary, watch out.


West Virginia: Smith. First down, second down, or third down. If he's connecting with wide receivers Stedman Baily and Tavon Auston, it's going to be a long night for the Longhorns.

Texas: RBs Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray. Texas wants to control the tempo. If they can grab a lead, look for the Longhorns to turn to Bergeron the battering ram. Gray, a freshman who set a national high school record with 205 career touchdowns, had a big fourth quarter last week at Oklahoma State.


The Longhorns have surrendered five touchdowns of 44 yards or longer this season. Smith had four touchdown passes of 39 yards or longer against Baylor just in the second half ... West Virginia beat Texas 7-6 in their only previous meeting in 1956. Texas coach Mack Brown joked it may take only a minute or two to top that score Saturday night ... Texas is just 2-6 at home in Big 12 play since 2010.