|3rd down efficiency||7-14||7-17|
|4th down efficiency||0-1||3-3|
|Yards per pass||9.0||6.3|
|Yards per rush||3.7||4.0|
|Gary Jennings Jr.||7||70||10.0||2||14|
|David Sills V||4||48||12.0||0||24|
The No. 12 West Virginia Mountaineers (4-0, 2-0) survived their first road conference game against No. 25 Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1). It was a tale of two halves and a big first quarter by the Mountaineer offense and big plays by the defense carried them to the win.
Texas Tech won the toss and differed to the second half. West Virginia elected to receive.
The Mountaineers took the opening drive and went 75 yards on seven plays for a touchdown. Heisman contender Will Grier led his offense throwing for 73 yards on 4-6 passing and the touchdown. Grier and Jennings connected at the three-yard line. Jennings caught the ball, bounced off the defender and ran it in for six.
On the Red Raiders first possession, Safety Kenny Robinson intercepted Allan Bowman on a second and 15 and returned to the Texas Tech 39-yard line.
The Mountaineer offense took advantage of the short field position. They scored on six plays, capped off by Leddie Brown powering for the touchdown.= from a yard out.
West Virginia’s defense was dialed in, and they held the Red Raiders to a three and out, giving Will Grier and the offense the ball right back.
West Virginia’s offense started from their own 26 on their third drive. The drive stalled after several mistakes. Two rare drops by veteran receiver Gary Jennings, and on fourth and one, a false start on left tackle Yodney Cajuste. Billy Kinney punted it to the Texas Tech 12-yard line, but a face mask moved them up to the 27-yard line.
Texas Tech couldn’t get their offense going and after the first three drives for the nation’s number one offense, they were held to just 29 yards.
Will Grier and his offense started near midfield and it took three plays for them to find the endzone. Back to back passes to Marcus Simms for a total of 59-yards and the touchdown. Grier hit Simms streaking down the sidelines for the 45-yard touchdown, putting the Mountaineers up 21-0.
West Virginia kicked the ball out of bounds and Texas Tech took advantage of the good field position. Allan Bowman hit on three consecutive passes, two of the passes went to Antoine Wesley including a 40-yard scoring strike.
The Mountaineers answered right back. They drove 65 yards on six plays, highlighted by Kennedy McKoy running 38 yards for the touchdown.
The first quarter ended with West Virginia leading 28-7. Will Grier was 13-17 for 198 yards and two touchdowns, while the offense had 279 total yards.
The Red Raiders put a long sustaining drive together to start the second quarter. They got down to the WVU five-yard line, before the Mountaineer defense pushed them back two yards and held them to a field goal.
On the ensuing possession for the Red Raiders, the Mountaineer defense held them to a three and out. On the third down throw, Bowman was sandwiched by Ezekiel Rose and Josh Norwood, knocking Bowman out of the game.
Texas Tech’s defense started to tighten up, until West Virginia got the ball back with just over five minutes left in the half. The Mountaineers used up a little over four minutes of the clock and punched into the endzone on a Grier Jennings back shoulder pass and a beautiful grab by Jennings giving the Mountaineers a 35-7 lead before halftime.
Kenny Robinson stopped any chance of Texas Tech getting a score before halftime with his second interception of the day.
The West Virginia offense looked sluggish in the third quarter. They were held to a three and out on their first series, and on their second possession of the half, the offense started to move the ball. However, the drive stalled at the Texas Tech 36-yard line. Evan Staley attempted a 53-yard field goal. It had plenty of leg but hit the left upright and the it was no good.
Texas Tech started to gain some momentum and backup quarterback Jett Duffy put together an 11 play 64-yard scoring drive together to cut the lead down to 18. Duffy did it with his arm and his legs. He ran for 27 yards and went 4-5 through the air for 26 yards and a touchdown.
On the drive there was a questionable targeting call on Josh Norwood that got him ejected from the game. He will have to sit the opening half of the Kansas game next week.
The Red Raiders got the ball back towards the end of the third quarter and to start the fourth quarter, they moved the ball down to the Mountaineer nine-yard line, but again the West Virginia defense held them to a field goal. The Mountaineer lead was dwindling.
Texas Tech’s defense was fired up and stopped West Virginia on three plays for -11 yards forcing them to punt.
Jett Duffy was making plays all over the field and led the offensive 69 yards on six plays for the touchdown cutting the Mountaineer lead 35-27. Antoine Wesley put them in scoring position with a spectacular catch at the three-yard line. WVU defensive back KEith Washington tipped the ball a couple of times and with great concentration, Wesley hauled it in.
Texas Tech was within one possession of the 12th ranked Mountaineers and they needed a stop. The Mountaineers got a first down on third and one with a four-yard run from Kennedy McKoy. However, on the next play, Will Grier was sacked for nine yards that essentially killed the drive and the Mountaineers gave the ball back to Texas Tech, leading by eight, at the Red Raider 24-yard line with four and a half minutes left in the game.
Texas Tech moved the ball to midfield and on the fifth play of the drive, Keith Washington jumped in front of Duffy’s pass and returned it back for the touchdown giving the Mountaineers the 42-27 lead with 2:58 left in the game.
Texas Tech drove 65 yards on nine plays to get back within eight. With 38 seconds left in the game, the Red Raiders tried an onside kick that ended up out of bounds and the Mountaineers held on to win the game, 42-34.