On the surface, it's ugly. The Mountaineer D had 47 points dropped on it.
But when you break it down, it was—dare I say it?—an admirable performance.
WVU quarterback Paul Millard turned the ball over twice inside his own 10-yard line and once at the 27-yard line. Clint Trickett, on the play he was injured, also turned it over at the team's own 26-yard line. The defense held Texas to field goals three of those four times, only allowing a touchdown on the 27-yard drive.
That's impressive. That's turning right around after having been on the field, coming back out with your own goalposts over your shoulders and forcing three-and-outs three out of four times.
Texas QB Case McCoy did find his stride late in the third and early in the fourth quarters, leading three touchdown drives. But the Mountaineer defense continued to stand strong, highlighted by a hold to a field goal on the Longhorns' final drive of regulation to force overtime.
While giving up 47 points certainly isn't a resume-builder, holds were made that allowed the Mountaineers to stick in it until the end. It was a far cry from the 2012 season, when touchdowns poured through the WVU defense at every opportunity. The defense was far from perfect, but it showed heart.
Darwin Cook will be gone next year, but Isaiah Bruce and other defensive leaders will hope to carry this momentum into 2014.