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Texas vs. WVU: Johnathan Gray starting to emerge

Freshman Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray stepped in for injured starter Malcolm Brown during the team's 41-36 win last weekend over Oklahoma State. Gray wound up rushing for 68 yards on 12 carries, including 45 yards on a crucial scoring drive that put the Longhorns up in the fourth quarter. Coach Mack Brown said of Gray on that drive: "That saved us."

As the Forth Worth Star-Telegram writes, Brown's renewed confidence in Gray could be a boost to Texas' offense going forward. The No. 11 Longhorns will need all the offensive firepower they can get this weekend when they host Geno Smith and the high-powered No. 7 West Virginia Mountaineers.

Much of Gray's damage came from direct snaps out of the "Wild" formation, an offense that Broffensive coordinater Bryan Harsin says suits Gray perfectly:

"He's explosive and powerful and he's got the ability when that hole opens up to take it [for a touchdown. He's just got a gear to him that if they want to bring a linebacker and go 1-on-1, he can shave that guy and get 2-plus yards. And if we get it blocked correctly and he's on a safety, he can get in space and make a guy miss."

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.