Texas Tech’s 5 first half touchdowns proved to be insurmountable for West Virginia as the Mountaineers dropped their fifth straight game, 38-10.
A combination of blown coverages, turnovers and a punt gave Texas Tech five early opportunities at a touchdown — and they took advantage of all of them. Quarterback Jett Duffey was red hot early for the Red Raiders, completing 11 of his first 13 passes including a touchdown.
The Raiders came out aggressive, only punting twice despite getting held to 6 fourth downs. Two of those conversions went for touchdowns.
Austin Kendall struggled throughout the game and was benched in the third quarter for Jarret Doege, who made his debut in a Mountaineer uniform. The starter Kendall finished with 355 yards and 2 interceptions, while Doege would throw the lone passing touchdown of the game for West Virginia.
“The same things that plague Jarret are the same things that plague Austin. We drop the ball, we didn’t do a great job in protection,” said WVU coach Neal Brown. “I’ll say this: I wish quarterback was our problem.”
Sam James had a career game against Texas Tech, catching 14 passes out of 20 targets for 223 yards.
Duffey ultimately had the better game out of the three signal callers, finishing with 354 yards and a touchdown.
“He made a bunch of plays on us,” Brown said. “He’s active, he got the ball out of his hand fast. I think the story of the game is O-line for them…Duffey had time and they did a nice job in the run game.”
Besides Duffey’s single passing score, the Red Raiders’ other 4 touchdowns were all from the ground.
The Red Raiders were slowed down in the second half, getting held to just a score. That also allowed the Mountaineers to overtake them in total offense, as by the end of the game WVU had 549 yards to Texas Tech’s 481.
The Mountaineers’ issues simply came down to execution. Before their score at the end of the fourth quarter, West Virginia was touchdown-less in four red zone trips, earning just a field goal in the first quarter before leaving 21 points on the field. They also struggled in the later downs, converting 6 of their 15 third downs and just a single 4th down in five tries.
Ultimately, Brown had one message for West Virginia fans:
“We have a ton of work to do in this program, but I’ll tell you, and this is probably on one of our worst days, but I’ll tell you right now: we will build a successful program here. And it doesn’t look like it right now, but because of [the fans], and for [the fans], we will be successful here.”