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2015 WVU Football Top Games: Number 3

At the halfway point of our countdown, we see the best defensive performance of the season. It wasn't a shutout, but the defense did more this game than any other.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Game 8 - November 7, 2015 - vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Mountaineers entered October 3-0, riding high after scoring 130 points and only giving up 23. They left October battered, bruised and beaten. They entered November, finally facing a non-ranked team. Texas Tech however was not a typical non-ranked team. Baylor, Oklahoma and TCU were all top 10 ranked offenses. So was TTU. Kliff Kingsbury and his high powered offense were a top offense that easily had the ability to trip up the Mountaineers.

The game started auspiciously enough. After punts by both teams, West Virginia leaned on their run game. Skyler Howard was crisp and his passes were on the mark. Short passes and runs led to a Rushel Shell two yard touchdown and an early Mountaineer lead.

Texas Tech wouldn't go away easily and responded with a 10-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in a 10-yard Jakeem Grant touchdown. Its interesting to note that Grant caught a 10 yard touchdown because he finished the game with only 8 yards receiving. KJ Dillon did an excellent job limiting Grant after this series.

A few punts later and once again WVU leaned on their running game again to watch Wendell Smallwood run in for a 16 yard touchdown.

West Virginia would miss a field goal and would shank a punt near the end of the half. Texas Tech used this excellent field position to tie the game at 14 on a Patrick Mahomes pass to Reginald Davis.  The offense however responded brilliantly with only 35 seconds left.

A first down pass to Ka'Raun White followed by back to back runs by Rushel Shell set up Josh Lambert for a 39 yard field goal at the end of the half. The Mountaineers would lead 17-14.

The work of the offense against one of the worst defenses in the nation was solid. The work the defense did against one of the top offenses in the nation was just outstanding. Texas Tech would tie the game at 17 midway through the third quarter but the Mountaineers would answer and never trail again.

Texas Tech came in averaging 47 points per game and over 400 yards passing. The defense limited the Red Raiders to 26 points and under 200 yards passing. See the chart below to remember just how well the defense played against Texas Tech.

Season Game Difference
Points 47 26 -21
Passing Yards 413 199 -214
Total Yards 604 378 -226
3rd Down Conversion 55% 39% -16%

Check out the highlights below.