HornsNation is counting down the top five moments of Texas’ 2012 season this week.
Play No. 5
The game: Geno Smith and West Virginia had been untouchable. The quarterback was a Heisman candidate who, through four games, had yet to throw an interception and had been sacked only four times. West Virginia was 4-0 coming into the game, and that put a scare into the traditional powers with the thought that the Mountaineers might be national title contenders. Texas represented their first big test of the season.
The play: Texas was trailing 21-14 but had momentum and had stuffed WVU for minus-4 yards on its two previous plays. Smith dropped backed to pass from the his own nine but never had time to get rid of the ball. Instead, defensive end Alex Okafor got into the backfield, sacked and, more importantly, stripped the ball from Smith. Bookend Jackson Jeffcoat fell on the ball in the end zone and Texas tied the game at 21 in the second quarter. The play electrified the largest home crowd in Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium history and the stadium shook as the 101,851 in attendance jumped in the stands.
The play was also a portent of thing to come. Okafor sacked and stripped Smith again in the fourth quarter. This time the defense was not able to fall on the ball and score. Instead, Chris Whaley's fumble recovery gave Texas the ball at the WVU 12. Lamentably, Texas’ offense failed to produce points in what proved to be the drive that determined Longhorns’ losing fate.