Lubbock, TX – Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnathan Gray led a potent Texas rushing attack with a career-high three touchdowns as the Longhorns rolled past 24th- ranked West Virginia by a 33-16 score on Saturday.
Gray finished with 101 yards on 10 carries and Malcolm Brown ran 20 times for 90 yards for a Longhorns ground game that garnered 227 yards.
Tyrone Swoopes threw for 124 yards with a touchdown and interception on 11- of-29 passing and Geoff Swaim hauled in a short TD pass for Texas (5-5, 4-3 Big 12), which has won three of its last four games.
"Overall, very pleased how hard our running backs ran, and then just how the offensive line just opened up holes and we were able to just run the ball so well," Texas head coach Charlie Strong said. "It was just really big for us to go out and play well tonight."
Clint Trickett completed 36-of-49 passes for 248 yards with an interception and Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood each ran in a score for the Mountaineers (6-4, 4-3), who had scored at least 30 points in their previous eight games.
"The first half was a good old fashioned butt kicking," West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "That's what it was on all three sides of the ball. We got outcoached, got outplayed. We did not play good."
Texas scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to seize control of the game.
Gray broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and exploded down the left sideline, keeping his feet inbounds and diving into the end zone for a 39-yard score to make it a 14-3 game with 8:56 left until half.
The Longhorns went up 21-3 on their next drive. Brown ran for 25 yards and Gray found a hole up the middle for a 40-yard run. A defensive pass interference call set up Gray's 2-yard TD run with 6:19 to go.
Quandre Diggs picked off Trickett and returned the ball to West Virginia's 22. Nick Rose then kicked a 39-yard field goal just inside the right upright to give the Longhorns a 24-3 lead heading into halftime.
West Virginia moved the ball down to the Texas 8 on its first drive of the second half, but its offense stalled as Trickett's pass to Kevin White on 4th- and-7 was for a loss.
Josh Lambert's 40-yard field goal attempt steered wide left with 4:02 left in the third.
Smith got West Virginia on the board for the first time since the first quarter with a 9-yard TD run to cap a 14-play, 75-yard trek early in the final stanza.
The Mountaineers were pinned down at their own 2-yard line after a 63-yard punt and a holding call. On the first play of the drive, Trickett dropped back and was sacked by Cedric Reed in the end zone for a safety.
Reed continued to plague Trickett, this time by stripping the WVU quarterback of the ball to force a fumble, which was recovered by Paul Boyette Jr. at the Mountaineers' 26.
Swoopes, however, was picked off by Daryl Worley three plays later. Smith raced 62 yards down the field and caught an 11-yard pass on the next play to set the Mountaineers up at the Texas 7. Smallwood ran for four yards before plunging into the end zone from three yards out for a 26-16 game with 6:38 to play. West Virginia's two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Mountaineers turned the ball over on downs at their own 15 with 3:11 to play and Gray ran 15 yards for a touchdown on the very next play to seal the win.
Texas marched 90 yards down the field in 11 plays on its first drive of the day. Terrell Chestnut was called for defensive pass interference on John Harris in the end zone to set up the Longhorns at the 2-yard line. Swoopes lofted a pass to Swaim in the back of the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first quarter.
After Mario Alford's 48-yard kick return, Rushel Shell ran for 11 yards and White hauled in a 19-yard pass to push West Virginia deep into its opponents territory, but Texas stuffed Smallwood on third down at the 1-yard line. West Virginia lined up to go for it, but was called for a false start, which led to a 22-yard Lambert field goal.
West Virginia lost its first road game of the season after starting out 3-0 ... White caught 16 passes for 132 yards ... Trickett was sacked three times ... The Mountaineers were 3-of-5 on fourth down tries, while the Longhorns were unsuccessful in their one instance ... Texas evened the all-time series at two wins apiece ... West Virginia outgained Texas, 448-351.