MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Paul Millard’s last three throws of overtime—all incompletions—all had chances to become touchdowns, which made a 47-40 loss to Texas even more painful to accept.

“You’ve got to give credit to Texas. It sucks, but that’s what it is,” said Millard, the junior backup from Dallas who played the final three-plus quarters in relief of a dazed Clint Trickett.

Millard’s bullpen appearance against his home-state Longhorns could have ended differently if not for a convergence of slight miscalculations by various players in OT.

“We had three throws and we didn’t get it done.” — Paul Millard on West Virginia’s failing in OT

In search of the tying touchdown, West Virginia faced second-and-goal at the 4 when Millard rolled right and saw Jordan Thompson pivoting free at the goal line. But Millard’s pass never got there, batted down by blitzing nickel back Quandre Diggs.

On third down, Kevin White ran a slant toward the back of the end zone, beating the Texas cornerback. But Millard’s pass never got there, knocked away by linebacker Steve Edmund who peeled off covering tight end Cody Clay at the goal line.

“I’m not sure what happened, but I know there was a guy who wasn’t supposed to be there,” White said. “(Edmund) just backed up and made a play on the ball. If he wasn’t there, it’s a touchdown.”

On fourth down, WVU’s Mario Alford ran the same slant, this time from the left side, and again beat the cornerback inside. But Millard’s pass never got there, intercepted by Edmund who once again abandoned coverage of Clay.

If Clay appeared to be too close to the receivers, that’s because he was.

“Cody’s got to get out in the flats,” said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. “We had what we wanted. The receiver got a great release to the inside on both plays. We wanted (Clay) to pivot out to the sideline to pull (the area open) for the post throw. It just didn’t happen.”

As Texas players poured onto the field in euphoria, Millard stared into the end zone WVU couldn’t reach.

“We had three throws and we didn’t get it done,” he said.

Millard threw for 259 yards on 16-of-32 passing, but he was picked off twice and fumbled four times, losing two.

“That’s just me holding the ball too long,” he said. “They were bringing more guys than we could block, so I’ve got to get the ball out of my hand. Those turnovers were not good.”

Not that Millard was without some moments of productivity. After all, he steered West Virginia to 31 points and beat press-man coverage by firing a 72-yard touchdown to Alford in the fourth quarter. That pass electrified Mountaineer Field and gave his team a 40-37 lead with 7:39 to play. That pass also turned out to be Millard’s final completion of the night.

“We fought our balls off, but you’ve got to give credit to Texas,” he said. “They made more plays than we did.”

Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography

West Virginia’s Mario Alford scoots 72 yards with a fourth-quarter touchdown catch.
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Comments

  • Dougie

    MU should be undefeated with as weak as that conference is now and the players they returned. Their season has been a complete failure.

  • pghmountaineer

    If you look at the Texas recruiting classes over the last several years they have always been in the top 20. I think that Mack Brown is an average coach. He wins games in spite of himself because he does have talented players. Texas has underachieved the last several years. That said, our talent level is no up to speed. Last year I think we had top 10 talent and this coaching staff made it look average.
    Oliver Luck is in a bad spot. I think he thought he was going to be the next AD at Texas long before the story broke and that's why he gave Holgerson & Huggins their overpaid contracts. He didn't think he was going to be here to have to deal with this mess, but now he is and he doesn't know what to do. Look for him to invisible for sometime. He doesn't want to face the music for both of our major sports programs going backwards under his watch.

  • Chef Camille

    You guys killed Billy Stewart for his play calling but I guarantee that any HIGH SCHOOL A Coach would have at least called a play to score a TD in OT.
    WAKE UP! This thing stinks

  • don

    How can you feel bad for patterson & his Dll wannabes? In the last qtr on virtually every 3rd down, everybody in the stadium knew it was going to Shipley; yet he was left alone time after time as if he were invisible. And holg isn't without blame either. 1st and goal from the 4 and you call 3 straight pass plays over athletic defensive backs. Probably used to running those plays in scrimmage against his own d-backs.

  • Rock Solid

    I believe our defense has grown a lot from the beginning of the season. I watch Big Twelve games whenever possible just to judge the calibre of competition WVU will face. I think our D is as good as most and getting better, but the O, is sad because we don't have a QB who is even average. The D never gets any rest. Always on the field. They don't have much depth and they just run out of gas when the other team brings in players who are just about as good as their first stringers quarter after quarter. I hope we don't go to the Pinstripe. Havn't we been embarressed enough? Extra practice isn't going to solve anything with this team until we get even a mediocre QB. Not blaming Millard or Trickett they can't be any more athletic than their gene pool allows. They are not going to get taller or faster so let this season rest. Dana and the boys need to show us what great recruiters they profess to be. Lets try to beat Kansas and Iowa State and call that our bowl victory! The helmets were just a gimmick, I hope they were free, of course the yellow helmets make us look like lemon lollipops so why would you expect us to not play like lollipop/bobble head dolls?

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    It must be difficult to play defense when the O keeps fumbling and throwing INTs. Our defense was very good considering. Our Offense needs help.
    No need looking back.
    LETS GOOOOOO MOUNAINEERS
    Beat Kansas

  • Adam

    QB and o-line play is pathetic. I can't believe that was D-1 football I watched. Millard and Trickett need to be yanked scholarships. Can't believe we have them taking up spaces for extremely better QB's we could get elsewhere.

  • Harpers Ferry

    I hate to say it, and be a voice of reason at the same time, but Marshall would beat WVU this year. Plain and simple.

    Finally, stop saying you don't support WVU OR Marshall if you live in the state of West Virginia, because your tax dollars say otherwise. Unless, of course, you don't pay taxes because you are living off the backs of others.

    • BH

      That's easy to say when MU is not on the schedule.

  • Troll is back

    If you idiots really believe the coaching staff teaches these kids to play like they do your nuts. It apparent that they perform in practice then lay a big egg in the game. Blame the qb because the line laid down, unreal, blame the coaches because the line laid down, unreal, blame the coaches because the db 's couldn't cover a convict in leg irons, unreal, blame, blame, blame you fans are lame and deserve every miserable game you get this year. It's on thing to replace a couple starters every year but 8 of 11 on offense and all you do is complain. Shut up , grow up and this team will be just fine in the future with or with out all you knuckleheads!

    • leroy j gibbs

      +1000

  • Toadman

    I feel bad for the whole team. They overall, played hard and didn't give up. There where plenty of errors made especially with the basics, like protecting the ball, but with a Holgerson coached team I'm getting use to a lack of attention to detail. We have a really good group of players, and I hope that by next year this time, there will be a big improvement in execution.
    Oh yea, somebody needs to coach Millard on what to say and what not to say during game interviews. There are certain words and certain things you shouldn't say or use during public/media interviews. Again, something Holgerson is responsible for and doesn't get done. Part of the job is to help young men to handle themselves in a mature manner that reflects a positive image on the university, the program and themselves. That should be discussed and talked about constantly when coaching young people.
    Good game and continue to get better!

    • Troll is back

      Here goes

  • clair thompson

    Please run some sweeps and touch passes as they did with Austin, off tackle or up the middle or pass and defense waiting right there for you. However was happy with effort.

    • Adam

      You can't run horizontally with our oline...the defense would blow it up before we got back to the line of scrimmage. We can barely get a yard going forward. The only yards we get are because of Sims' and Smith's abilities....not because our o line

  • jwg66

    I feel bad for our D.... They played hard and just appeared to run out of gas late. Our QB and OL play has got to get attention. The Texas D Line was a problem all nite. The QB's inaccuracy, fumbles and holding the ball too long killed us. We wasted way too many scoring chances in the first half and it cost us later in the game. No, I am not happy our TE didn't clear, but everyone makes some mistakes. The Offense's problems gave Texas points and in a close game, that to me was the biggest issue.

  • Had Enough

    Richard, I was just wondering. does a win over Ga. St feel better than a win over a team like UAB? I've been a lifelong eer's fan but at the end of the day I think we have to admit Doc has his team headed in the right direction, can we say that.

    • BH

      With what's left of CUSA, MU certainly should be doing better this season.

  • richard

    William, I would rather have an overtime lose to Texas than a win against a team like UAB......lmao

    • Jason

      Ask the WVU seniors what they would rather have. I would say they would take a W anyway they can get it. Wins equal bowl games (which equals more practices and game experience for everybody in a program). Doesn't even matter if it is a crappy bowl, more practice and game experience is beneficial to a team. I am a MU fan, trust me, the last decade has been tough, extended experience bowl games provide is invaluable, while disappointing to fans, the players always enjoy them and the extra time is great for younger players.

      • JimJim

        More practices with the Dude. Do you really think that will help? We've seen his best, his OC magic is gone.

  • The Real Matt

    This was an awesome effort, and here is the way to look at this think right. Did Cody run a soft route, probably. This Paul play sloppy, sometimes yes. Did the defense mess up the coverage with Shipley, yes sometimes. BUT, Cody blocked superb all night for Charles Sims, Paul played gutty and managed the game well outside of holding the ball too long. The defense was lights out all night with their back against the wall. Did the Mountainees earn a ton of respect you bet your bottom dollar they did. One final question and answer, is Dana Holgerson the man for the job, abso friggin lutely. O and btw, fall of a cliff Big Larry.

    • PB and J

      I cant say the defense was lights out. They did give up 47 points.

      • Dan

        D was put in bad situation all night by Trickett whom dropped the ball how many times? Then Millard. How many redzone stops? D did very well, with some notable exceptions. If we had a QB, we would have won that ball game. Trickett, please eat some sandwiches and lift some weights. Millard, hang a tire on a tree and throw at it.

      • Nutbut

        Try 23 (counting overtime) on an extremely short field.

        1 busted coverage...big play score.

        I would say the D battled.

        • PB and J

          No, they gave up 47 points ( I get what you're trying to say) the D was really good the first half, but went backwards in the second half.

          Texas was 9 for 13 on 3rd down conversions and WVU can not win a game with that.

          The D played WAY better than previous games, but again, it wasn't lights out as previously stated. Mostly, the D did not lose this game.

          • Jason

            Reasonable comment.