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Texas' Johnathan Gray, Chris Whaley suffer serious injuries

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Johnathan Gray was on pace to become Texas' first 1,000-yard rusher since Jamaal Charles in 2007 .

Texas has lost top running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley to season-ending injuries that will require surgery, the school announced Sunday.

Gray tore his Achilles tendon, while Whaley hurt his knee in the 47-40 overtime win at West Virginia on Saturday.

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Gray, a 5-foot-11, 207-pound sophomore, rushed for a team-high 780 yards on 159 carries with four touchdowns this season.

Whaley (6-3, 295) had 25 tackles and five tackles for loss with two sacks in his senior season, scoring two defensive touchdowns in a three-game span to put his moves as a former touted high school running back to good use. Following a similar career path as Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton, Whaley's strong play in recent weeks had been a key factor in the dramatic improvement of the Longhorn run defense.

With the top three contenders -- UT, Baylor and Oklahoma State -- to win the Big 12 all playing back-loaded schedules, including games against each other, a spate of significant late-season injuries could play a major role in which team comes away with the conference's Fiesta Bowl berth.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.



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