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Quarterback switch too little, too late as West Virginia falls to Texas Tech

The long awaited change was made and the Mountaineers took another step in The Climb.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia was dealt their fifth straight loss on Saturday afternoon, as the Texas Tech Red Raiders rolled into Morgantown and used an explosive first half to cruise past the Mountaineers to a final score of 35-17.

The Red Raiders scored on each of their first five drives as quarterback Jett Duffey picked apart the West Virginia defense with relative ease, which came as a shock following the Mountaineers’ defensive performance against Baylor on Halloween night. Meanwhile, Austin Kendall and the Mountaineer offense struggled to do anything meaningful in response, outside of a deep strike to George Campbell to set up a field goal on their opening drive of the game.

Kendall’s passes were consistently short, effectively erasing what could have been three touchdowns as the intended receiver had to adjust to the ball.

With Neal Brown’s tease earlier in the week that Jarret Doege would see playing time, fans in Milan Puskar Stadium and at home began to grow antsy as it was apparent that a change had to be made if the Mountaineers wanted to turn things around.

Although the call finally came in the closing minutes of the third quarter, it was too late for redshirt junior quarterback Jarret Doege to dig the West Virginia Mountaineers out of the hole that had been dug through the first three quarters of play. Doege’s first drive as a Mountaineer resulted in a three-and-out due to two dropped passes and although his second drive was notably better — with the Mountaineers driving into the red zone — it too would end with zero points on the board after Jordyn Brooks wreaked havoc in the West Virginia backfield to cause a turnover on downs.

On West Virginia’s final drive of the game, Doege engineered a 61-yard drive by completing five of his six passing attempts and finding true freshman running back Tony Mathis in the endzone to mark the first touchdown as a Mountaineer for each of their careers.

Doege finished his day 11-of-17 passing for 119 yards and one touchdown. Austin Kendall checked out with 26-of-43 passing for 355 yards and two interceptions. Sam James caught 14 passes on 20 targets for a career high 223 yards receiving. George Campbell caught 3 passes for 95 yards.

On the ground, it was more of the same for the West Virginia stable of running backs with no one gaining more than 20 yards total on the day.

West Virginia is back on the road next Saturday, as they travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the No. 16 ranked Kansas State Wildcats. That game kicks off at 3:30PM ET and will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. An official designation should be announced later tonight.