MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The end Saturday night arrived before backup quarterback Paul Millard's second interception fell into the grasp of a fallen Texas defender in the end zone to give the Longhorns a 47-40 win in overtime.
And it happened before the Mountaineers (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) squandered a second-and-1 on their final possession in regulation.
"If we make a first down, we probably run the clock out and the defense never comes out on the field," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. "We had a couple guys who didn't do what they were supposed to do on that play. It was frustrating."
They gained no yards on second down and lost a yard on third down. Even worse, the Mountaineers called a timeout with 3:59 to go to set up that sequence.
"That's tough to take," Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "I don't know what else to say. That's tough to take."
Still, WVU didn't meet its demise inside the red zone at the end or within the hash marks a little earlier. It happened on the outside and with passes that didn't connect with receivers often enough to discourage the Longhorns from playing their defining style at the conclusion.
"We had a hard time pass protecting against them, and they brought it pretty good," Holgorsen said. "They obviously have a good front and we knew that going in.
"They stopped the run with more people than we could block, but when that happens you've got to be able to max protect it and throw and catch on the outside, which we did at a rate of about 50 percent, which is disgusting. That's been pretty common all year."
In the game's critical moments, Texas (7-2, 6-0) crowded the line of scrimmage and refused to consider the possibility the Mountaineers might pass the ball against single coverage.
Up 40-37 late, WVU had a chance to run some clock if only it could run the ball, but the two runs after second-and-1 preceded a punt.
With that fresh in their mind, the Mountaineers ran once and then threw three incomplete passes on the game's final four downs. WVU scored on all five chances in the red zone with a field goal and touchdown runs of 3, 6 and 1 yards by Charles Sims and 8 yards by Dreamius Smith.
"They stacked the box and played man," Dawson said. "You've got to execute. They did that all game and we executed at times, but we just didn't sustain it when it mattered. It mattered right there and we just fell short."
Receiver Mario Alford gained 20 yards on a reverse on WVU's first play of overtime to move the ball to the Texas 5-yard line. Sims gained a yard on first down and things started to unravel for the Mountaineers.