Millard moved around on second down and missed receiver Jordan Thompson in the end zone.
"We called a run play," Dawson said. "We threw it."
The call was a run play, but it's a package play that has an option that allows for Millard to change to a pass play. Texas again left its defenders alone with WVU's receivers and devoted its attention to defending the run up the middle.
Dawson said he approved of Millard's decision to throw.
"They stacked the box," he said. "We had no choice but to throw it, but we've got to make a play."
Dawson said WVU called the same play against the same look from Texas on third and fourth down and that, both times, tight end Cody Clay didn't take his route far enough out into the flat. He instead stayed in the middle and kept his defender in the play. That defender was able to defend Millard's throws to the intended receivers in the same area.
"I don't really second-guess that," Dawson said. "We really had the look we wanted. The only problem on that is if the outside receiver doesn't get a clean release. He did both times. We probably could throw it more to the back of the end zone, but we were getting pressure."
The Mountaineers tried throughout the game to discourage Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson's plan so that he'd limit his blitzes or move safeties back or do both. Again and again, Millard took his shots down the field along the sideline, including his first two passes upon relieving Clint Trickett to start the second quarter, or on shorter routes in the red zone.
Texas defensive backs broke up three passes to Kevin White that were down the field against one-on-one coverage.
"I've just got to have strong hands," White said. "Every time, they're waiting for me to come down to hit the ball. I've got to move the ball around and lean into them, and then when I'm falling, lean away from them."
There was one notable success. Millard threw a 31-yard pass to White in the fourth quarter to get the ball to the Texas 16. There was then room for the run game, as Sims ran for eight yards on first down and Smith scored on an 8-yard run on third down.
Millard's final pass was his second interception and he also lost two fumbles in relief of Trickett, who Holgorsen said was "knocked out there for a bit" the fourth and final time he was sacked in the first quarter. Millard rebounded from an 0-for-5 start to complete 8 of 11 passes at the end of the half and help WVU take a 19-13 lead into the locker room. He finished 16-for-32 for 259 yards and a 72-yard touchdown on a quick slant to Alford.
"Paul did a good job coming in and putting the ball in play and he gave us a chance, no doubt," Dawson said. "That's a positive. He made some throws down the stretch that were good, but at the end, it's unfortunate because that's something we want to take advantage of and we just didn't execute."