MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia will finally have a night game at home.
The Big 12 announced Monday the Mountaineers will play host to conference co-leader Texas in a 7 p.m. game Nov. 9. It will be televised by Fox. WVU's first four home games this season started at noon.
The Longhorns (5-2, 4-0 Big 12) have won four straight games after a 1-2 start that included back-to-back losses to BYU and Ole Miss. Texas has scored 31, 31, 36 and 30 points in the winning streak after scoring 21 and 23 in its losses.
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WVU'S DEFENSIVE rankings have slid sharply in Big 12 play and one explanation is the lack of pressure on the passer. The Mountaineers (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) have four sacks in five conference games, hardly the sort of consistency needed in a league that passes as much as the Big 12 does.
The Mountaineers had six sacks in non-conference games, but three were against Georgia State. WVU had one sack against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas State and none against Texas Tech - that coming in 50 pass attempts by the Red Raiders. WVU's 1.25 sacks per game ranks No. 113 nationally.
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WHEN WVU allowed Oklahoma State 21 points on 19 possessions in the win at home last month, the defense stopped the Cowboys 14 times on 20 third downs.
After winning 70 percent of the battles that day, WVU has lost at least 60 percent of the time the past three games. Baylor was 11-for-16 (68.75), Texas Tech was 9-for-16 (60 percent) and Kansas State was 8-for-13 (61.54 percent). The Wildcats started 1-for-6.
"You can't point fingers at the offense because we've got to get off the field," nose guard Shaq Rowell said. "That's our goal on defense. The first five games, we averaged about 70 percent on third down (66.27 percent). The last three games, it's dropped off and that's what happens when you don't get off the field. Guys get injured and cramp up and you can't stop people."
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QUARTERBACK CLINT Trickett has started the past four games for WVU, but has as many wins as Paul Millard and Ford Childress did in just starts. He's only completed 49.7 percent of his passes, but has had his two most accurate days in the past two starts - 62.8 percent against Texas Tech and 53.8 percent against Kansas State.
Maybe more importantly, his teammates are finally beginning to learn what to expect from the passer.