West Virginia picked up their first Big 12 win of the season, behind the two-headed monster of Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell, with a 31-26 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Mountaineers move to 4-4 (1-4 Big XII) on the season.
The Mountaineer offense relied heavily on the run game to dispatch the high-scoring Red Raiders, racking up 300 rushing yards. Rushel Shell ran 14 times for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Wendell Smallwood added 163 more yards on 22 attempts and 1 touchdown. West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard had another not-so-great game, going 12/23 for 149 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Howard did, however add 27 yards and 1 touchdown on 18 runs, allowing him to get in on the Ground Raid™ action. Other than Shell and Smallwood running all over the Texas Tech defense, the highlight for the Mountaineer offense had to be Ka'Raun White. White had a breakout game, with 5 receptions for 80 yards, giving Mountaineer fans everywhere flashbacks to big brother Kevin White's time in Morgantown.
West Virginia's defense came up big multiple times in the game to stop the nation's #2 passing offense. The Red Raiders came into this game averaging 413 passing yards per game, but the Mountaineers held them to a season low yards 199 yards. Texas Tech's star receiver Jakeem Grant was nearly silent, grabbing 5 passes for only 8 yards. Late in the 4th quarter, with Texas Tech threatening for a 2-point conversion that would bring the Red Raiders within 3 points of the Mountaineers, Al-Rasheed Benton stopped Patrick Mahomes short of the goal line and forced a fumble, giving West Virginia some breathing room.
The Mountaineers will look to pick up where they left off today next Saturday against the Texas Longhorns in Morgantown. Game time and channel has not been announced as of yet due to the game being placed on a six day window this past week.