Malcolm Brown out vs. West Virginia

Updated: October 2, 2012, 8:58 PM ET
By William Wilkerson | HornsNation

AUSTIN, Texas -- If Texas plans to slow down West Virginia's vaunted offense by running the ball, it will have to do so without Malcolm Brown.

The sophomore, who injured his left ankle in the first half of the Longhorns win over Oklahoma State, was ruled out for Saturday's Big 12 clash on Tuesday during the team's media availability.

Brown finished the game with just three rushes for seven yards. In his absence, Texas relied heavily on sophomore Joe Bergeron and freshman Johnathan Gray.

Bergeron finished the game with 15 rushes for 49 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 2-yard plunge into the end zone with 29 seconds left.

Gray, the nation's top-rated running back coming out of high school, had the best game of his short career carrying the ball 12 times for 68 yards. He carried the ball four consecutive times on Texas' second-to-last drive, including a 13-yard scamper to the Oklahoma State 1 that set up Bergeron's first touchdown.

Bergeron and Gray will be expected to do the bulk of Texas' groundwork against a West Virginia run defense tied with OSU for fifth in the conference in allowing 121.2 rushing yards per game.

An injury to Brown at this time last year likely would have proved much more costly given Texas' inabilities to move the ball through the air. But that's been a completely different case this season with the improved play of David Ash, who became just the fourth quarterback in school history to throw for consecutive 300-yard passing games with his 304-yard, three-touchdown performance in Stillwater, Okla.

Texas has had to adjust to life without Brown before. The highly recruited running back from Cibolo (Texas) Steele played in only 10 games last season because of injury.

The Longhorns hope to have him back in time for their annual Red River Rivalry game against Oklahoma on Oct. 13 in Dallas. He needs just 20 rushing yards to become the 47th back in school history to reach 1,000 in his career.