The Texas Tech Red Raiders have not looked strong this year. Turmoil has surrounded the program with the release of co-Defensive Coordinator Matt Wallerstedt and two beat downs at the hands of Arkansas and K-State. However, Lubbock is a strange place where strange things happen. The 2012 West Virginia Mountaineers learned that the hard way with the wind making a strong Heisman case and last year's version of the Old Gold and Blue gave up a winnable game late to these Red Raiders. However, the Fightin' Fake Goslings lost a huge weapon to the draft in Jace Amaro and this West Virginia team looked to be up to the task to get their first win over TTU since 1937.
West Virginia won the toss and elected to receive. From the get-go, you could tell that the Mountaineer coaching staff had gotten the memo laid out from Arkansas and K-State: run on Texas Tech. Over this opening 11-play, 43-yard drive, West Virginia ran the ball seven times including giving it to RB Rushel Shell five times in a row. The drive only gets to field goal range and stalls which forces West Virginia to take a quick 3.
The Red Raiders start out rather balanced as well giving the ball to RB DeAndre Washington. This opens the field up a bit for QB Davis Webb, but they eventually punt. WVU goes three and out trying to force WR screen on close coverage by the Texas Tech defenders. It works well when you break the initial tackle. Not so much when they hold you to a yard on it. Eers punt. Then, the lid comes off of this game.
Big passes from Davis Webb to WRs Bradley Marquez and Jakeem Grant put Texas Tech into striking distance. Next, the Red Raiders give the Mountaineers a dose of their own medicine.... the damn gadget play.
PASS TD: Webb to Devin Lauderdale 3:06 1Q (PAT GOOD) #WVU 3 - #TTU 7
Sweet tackling. Still early, though. What stings is that the WVU offense goes three and out. Texas Tech gets the ball back and WR Devin Lauderdale gets loose again.
PASS TD: Webb to Devin Lauderdale 1:14 1Q (PAT GOOD) #WVU 3 - #TTU 7
That is not ideal. Plenty of time still and, thank God, the Mountaineers start kicking it into gear. WR Kevin White (still a monster) gets two quick receptions to put the Mountaineers into TTU territory finishing the opening quarter.
Trickett just keeps going back to the Kevin White well and it ain't running dry. White gets two more receptions to put WVU into the redzone. Rushel Shell finishes it off.
RUSH TD: Rushel Shell 13:42 2Q (PAT GOOD) #WVU 10 - #TTU 14
Diamonds are forever and that especially holds true in the red zone. Texas Tech isn't phased by the Mountaineer scoring drive and gashes WVU for rushing yardage with DeAndre Washington to move to midfield. The defense starts bringing people to put extra pressure on Webb and stop the run. A significant problem with this is the WVU secondary continued to sit back, leaving huge holes in the second level of coverage. If you are going to send extra guys to pass rush, you must get there against a pass heavy offense or they will exploit these holes. It doesn't take long for Davis Webb to find his most dynamic receiver on the field, Jakeem Grant.
PASS TD: Webb to Jakeem Grant 11:13 2Q (PAT GOOD) #WVU 10 - #TTU 21
Mario Alford's return only gets to the WVU 15 and the Mountaineers get into a 3rd and long situation in their own territory. West Virginia hands it off to Rushel Shell and Twitter blows up about running it on a long 3rd down. More on that later. WVU punter Nick O'Toole pins TTU inside their own 10 with the Mountaineers needing a defensive stop.
They get it, but not without complications. WVU manages to stop the Red Raiders on third down, but KJ Dillon gets called for unnecessary roughness.
PERSONAL FOUL: Unnecessary Roughness by KJ Dillon 7:48 2Q #WVU 10 - #TTU 21
Personally, I think that call is BS. Dillion was simply making sure the runner was down. There is no whistle before the second hit and we have seen an unfinished tackle prove devastating for a defense (exhibits A and B.) Luckily, it doesn't cost the WVU defense and Tech punts it away.
The Mountaineers are not having a wonderful time on either side of the ball at this point. While the offense is able to sputter down the field, Quinton Spain gets hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Neither Lonnie Galloway nor Ron Crook are pleased.
I'm no lip-reader, but I think Quinton Spain was asking TT bench "How were the waffles?" #WVU— Allan Taylor (@AllanTaylorWVU) October 11, 2014
All the while, the Mountaineers move into Red Raider territory, but fail to convert on fourth down with two minutes to go in the half. Davis Webb goes for the money shot and KJ Dillon makes up for his earlier mistake.
INT: WVU KJ Dillon 1:06 2Q #WVU 10 - #TTU 21
Hey, we still have a minute left and plenty of timeouts. Let's take a shot! West Virginia elects to run the ball four straight times, then take a timeout with 0:13 left. Did Holgo forget we had them?
Throw them in with the holographic Charizards, beanie babies, and pogs.
The Red Raiders come out of the half and start slinging it. Passes to Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez put Tech over midfield and looking dangerous. However, the Mountaineer defense steps up big on 3rd and 2 stuffing DeAndre Washington. On fourth down...
4TH DOWN CONVERSION FAILED: Tackle by WVU Nick Kwiatkowski 11:32 3Q #WVU 10 - #TTU 21
How big has Nick Kwiatkoski been for this team all year? He's a redshirt junior, so I expect to have #35s available at the bookstore by the time August comes around. I digress.
The Mountaineers get the ball back and continue to hand off to RBs Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell with appearances by Andrew Buie. West Virginia gets down to the TTU 27, but cannot get that big play. Lambert comes out and makes it a one possession game.
Texas Tech continues to be able to move the ball efficiently into Mountaineer territory. Davis Webb spreads it around to Cameron Batson and Dylan Cantrell along with the usual Washington/Marquez combo to really make it hurt. The Red Raiders get inside the Mountaineer 10, but just cannot punch it in. The Fake Goslings settle for three. Bend, but don't break stuff from the Eer D.
Unfortunately, the Mountaineer gamble of having Trickett run around and make plays finally catches up with them.
SACK FUMBLE: Recovered by TTU Demetrius Alston 4:10 3Q #WVU 13 - #TTU 24
Not a great time for that to happen. This gives Tech the ball at the WVU 37 looking for a knockout blow. The good news is Paul Millard has solid hat game.
Later, Nick Young. There's a new Swaggy P in town.
The reason I can kind of be light about this situation is that the Mountaineer defense comes up huge again. That and Texas Tech is next-level terrible inside the red zone. The Red Raiders throw three straight fades and none of them connect. Some of that is great defending by Daryl Worley, KJ Dillon, Karl Joseph, and Dravon Henry, but it the point still stands. Texas Tech tacks on another field goal.
And, just like that, the Mountaineer offense wakes up. Shell runs for nine yards to set up 2nd and 1. WHAT DO YOU DO ON SECOND AND SHORT, Y'ALL??? TAKE. A. SHOT.
PASS TD: Trickett to Jordan Thompson (PAT GOOD) 1:58 3Q #WVU 20 - #TTU 27
Awwwww yisssss, Squirt. Tell me more, Joey Harrington.
ANALYSIS: #WVU PASS TD: Clint Trickett to Jordan Thompson
Got ourselves a ball game. Tech does nothing with it and punts. The punt return, however, doesn't quite go how you'd think.
....you can't do that. 0:34 3Q #WVU 20 - #TTU 27
That looks familiar. The difference is that we didn't recover and try to score. Damn Terps.
The Mountaineers cross midfield with some solid run game, but the drive stalls. On third down and 7, Holgorsen elects to run the ball and Shell only gets five. Twitter erupts in disgust of running on 3rd and 7 because foreshadowing is a real life thing. Lambert comes out for the 47 yard kick and misses. Woof.
Both Tech and WVU punt on the next drives. With 8:37 left, the Red Raiders look to be going three and out with a long 3rd down in front of them.
RUSH TD: TTU Justin Stockton (PAT GOOD) 7:32 4Q #WVU 20 - #TTU 34
Seven minutes left. Down 14. On the road. Nut up or shut up time and Wendel Smallwood starts to go off. He gets a seam on the right side off tackle for a 17-yard run. Next play, Smallwood goes up middle for another 25 yards, fumbles, but the ball goes out of bounds. Holy hell, but it all put the Mountaineers at the Texas Tech 27. On third down, Kevin White is one on one with no safety help on the outside. Bad idea if you're the Red Raiders. Nigel Bethel II freshman corner gets roasted.
PASS TD: Trickett to Kevin White (PAT GOOD) 5:55 4Q #WVU 27 - #TTU 34
How about them waffles.
Kevin White now has six straight games with 100+ receiving yards - a school record.— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) October 11, 2014
I'm currently 3/4ths turnt up— David Smith (@SmithFire13) October 11, 2014
5:55 left and WVU needs a stop from their defense. Three and out. Huge.
4:32 and the Mountaineers get a defensive PI call. Trickett starts to find the slot is there for the taking. First to Jordan Thompson, but Clint hits Daikiel Shorts for a big gain including facemask yardage.
BIG GAIN: Trickett to Daikiel Shorts 3:44 4Q #WVU 27 - #TTU 34
The added penalty yardage puts the Mountaineers at the TTU 6. Buie gets three yards on first down. Shell gets two on second and nothing on third down. Holgorsen burns a timeout here to get a look at the Tech D set up for the crucial fourth down conversion. Do or die...
RUSH TD: WVU Rushel Shell (PAT GOOD) 4Q 2:02 #WVU 34 - #TTU 34
HYFR. Gut check time for the defense. WVU starts blitzing Webb hard with the secondary much closer to the line. This cuts down on longer drops for Webb because he might not even get set by the time a linebacker is in his face. Plus, with the secondary closer to the line of scrimmage, the windows are tighter to get rid of the ball. Webb can't handle it and throws off the mark on quick slant routes. Tech ends up punting the ball away giving the Mountaineers 52 seconds to march down the field with two timeouts in hand.
WVU starts out getting an illegal shift penalty on first down. They go to Smallwood to get the first down and to take advantage of the vast amounts of space in the middle. Trickett finds Jordan Thompson in the slot twice and both for 11 yards a piece to cross midfield, burning a timeout in the process. A run up the middle from Smallwood with seven seconds left puts the ball in "I guess they could kick from here" range from what would be a 55-yarder. Trickett throws it away to have the clock at three seconds. Out comes Josh Lambert and Texas Tech takes a timeout. Finally, Lambert's 55-yard attempt......
GW FG GOOD: By Josh Lambert #WVU 37 - #TTU 34 FINAL
ALL THE TWEETS.
MY NAME IS JOSH LAMBERT AND I. GET. FUCKING. BUCKETS.— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) October 11, 2014
Josh Lambert pic.twitter.com/62opWbsTYA— Nicolas Colasante (@Nicolas2321) October 11, 2014
IM A GOOD COACH AGAIN— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxHolgorsen) October 11, 2014
That's what I'm talking about @J_LambertWVU ... Tear that town down tonight brother man... You deserve it— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 11, 2014
SING IT, BOYS.