Texas Tech routs No. 5 WVU, 49-14
By John Harris
Published: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 7:06 p.m.
LUBBOCK, Texas — Jubilant fans stormed the field and fireworks exploded, as Texas Tech upset No. 5 West Virginia, 49-14, on Saturday before 57,328 fans at Jones AT&T Stadium.
It was as big of a win for the Red Raiders as it was potentially devastating for the Mountaineers, whose BCS national championship hopes likely were derailed.
The loss almost certainly will bounce the Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) out of the Top 10. A week earlier, West Virginia had climbed three spots in the polls after defeating Texas in Austin.
“We got outplayed. We got outcoached,” said Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen, who said his team came out flat. “They just played harder than us, which is disappointing.”
“We didn't come in with the right mind frame,” said senior quarterback Geno Smith, who completed 29 of 55 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown but came up lacking against the No. 1 pass defense in the nation. “No excuses for what happened. I was off. I put 100 percent of the blame on myself.”
The combination of Smith — who entered the game as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and leading passer the country — along with the Mountaineers' inability to make an impact defensively led to the 35-point loss.
Seven days after defeating Texas, the Mountaineers looked like a different team.
“We still have an opportunity to win a conference championship,” defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said. “Not too many teams are going to go undefeated.”
West Virginia didn't have the look of a conference champion. The Mountaineers never led, as Texas Tech built a 35-7 advantage by halftime and 42-7 edge after three quarters.
“They came in really cocky and kind of on the high road,” Texas Tech safety Cody Davis said. “You show them we're serious and get a jump on them and get the momentum on our side.”
The Mountaineers were held to a season-low point total. They opened the second half facing their largest deficit of the season.
Texas Tech (5-1, 1-1) drove 75 yards to grab a 7-0 lead on the game's opening drive. Quarterback Seth Doege (32 of 42 for 499 yards and six touchdowns) completed a 39-yard pass to a wide open Jace Amaro for the score.
It was a sign of things to come for West Virginia's porous defense.
Texas Tech led 14-0 on another Doege touchdown pass. West Virginia made it 14-7 on Smith's 14-yard touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey. Bailey left the game in the second half with an injury, and his status for next week's game against Kansas State is unknown.
Smith, however, was unable to produce another score the remainder of the half. Texas Tech's defensive front consistently applied pressure, and the Red Raiders' secondary provided tight coverage against what had been regarded as the top receiving corps in the nation.
Texas Tech outscored the Mountaineers 21-0 in the second quarter, putting together touchdown drives of 82, 86 and 67 yards. All told, the Red Raiders had four touchdown drives of at least 70 yards, including a 15-play, 98-yard march in the fourth quarter.
“They were connecting on everything. Every pass they threw was connecting,” said freshman linebacker Isaiah Bruce. “It was definitely frustrating as a defense.”
Poor defensive play hasn't been a deterrent in previous games because the Mountaineers' offense had been so productive.
That all changed Saturday.
Without its offense to fall back on, the Mountaineers fell apart.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.