Big 12 Sports Articles

Despite Scare, Mountaineers Escape Lubbock With a Win

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Tech

Football is a game of four quarters. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but when your team scores 28 points in the first quarter, I think placing a hefty in-game wager in the aforementioned team would be a safe bet.

Well, that certainly wasn’t the case for the West Virginia Mountaineers, who nearly blew a 25-point halftime lead in Lubbock against the Red Raiders. After the hold-your-breath 42-34 road win, head coach Dana Holgorsen said “We played a really good first half. We focused all week on starting fast and I guess I forgot to tell my team that there was a second half.”

Coach isn’t lying because his team DOMINATED the first quarter, leading the Red Raiders 28-7 after 15 minutes. But after that, they were holding on to their lead for dear life.

At the end of the first half, West Virginia had over 300 yards on offense (for the third straight week), led 35-10 and not to mention, Texas Tech would start their third-string QB due to Alan Bowman being shaken up. At that point, I would have bet my house that West Virginia would have rolled to victory with relative ease. Well, I am glad I didn’t because I would have been sweating that one out until the very end.

Will Grier kept his Heisman campaign going in the first half, where he threw all three of his touchdown passes. The senior quarterback finished 27/41 with 370 passing yards. Gary Jennings caught two touchdowns passes, while Marcus Simms led all receivers with 138 yards.

Dana Holgorsen admitted to Texas Tech playing harder than his team in the second half and it seemed like no player or coach I spoke with could quite put their finger on what the issue was when it came to the second half struggles. Maybe it was all the dropped passes, or a quarterback shake up for Texas Tech since the athletic Jett Duffey started the second half. The Mountaineers clearly were not prepared to face a quarterback with dual-threat ability, which Duffey possesses, but Bowman does not. 

Either way, West Virginia came to Lubbock and got what they wanted. A victory. At times it looked like putting a lipstick on a pig, but in the end, they won a Big 12 road game in Lubbock, which is never easy to do. Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital said that the offense had way too many up-and-down practices. What’s funny is that is exactly how the game played out. There were ups, downs and some things that made you scratch your head, but a win is a win and I am sure the Mountaineer faithful will take it as they now move to 4-0 on the season, sit right outside the Top 10 in the country, and prepare to welcome in the lowly Kansas Jayhawks next week. 

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