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West Virginia’s comeback bid comes up short, Mountaineers fall to Texas Tech in Morgantown

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Trust the climb, right?

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

Homecoming Weekend ended on a sour note for West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12), as the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) rolled into Morgantown as a seven point underdog and stunned the Mountaineers to a final score of 23-20.

Texas Tech jumped took a 17-0 lead to the locker room, as West Virginia struggled on both sides of the ball throughout the entire 30 minutes of the first half.

The Mountaineers did their best to turn things around in the second half, battling back to tie the game at 17 with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. Quarterback Jarret Doege looked more comfortable in the pocket throughout the quarter, and it was reflected in the box score as he finished the quarter 7-of-11 for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

The Red Raiders broke the tie early in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard field goal to take a 20-17 lead, but the Mountaineers would knot it back up at 20 on the ensuing drive with a 28-yard field goal by Casey Legg with just over four minutes remaining in the game.

After a quick four yard gain up the middle by SaRodorick Thompson, Red Raiders quarterback Henry Columbi connected with Kaylon Geiger on a 42 yard strike to put Texas Tech deep in West Virginia territory. Thompson picked up two first downs on the next two plays, setting the Red Raiders up for an easy chip shot field goal to take the lead with 18 seconds remaining.

West Virginia attempted to respond, but Winston Wright was forced to down the squib kick at the nine yard line to preserve the time on the clock. Doege completed a 29-yard strike to Isaiah Esdale on the first play to get the Mountaineers up to their own 38 yard line. Instead of clocking the ball to set up for a final play, Doege elected to drop back and fired an incomplete pass out of bounds as time expired.

Doege finished the day 25-of-33 passing for 318 yards and one touchdown. Garrett Greene chipped in 12 yards on one completion and added 34 yards on the ground on five attempts.

Leddie Brown ended up with 57 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. Isaiah Esdale led the Mountaineers with 113 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, and Winston Wright added 106 yards on nine catches.

On the defensive side of the ball, Sean Mahone led West Virginia with 10 tackles and an interception on the opening drive of the game. Tajh Alston finished with 5 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.

The Mountaineers are back in action next Saturday, when they go on the road to Waco to take on the No. 21 ranked Baylor Bears. That game kicks off at Noon ET and will be broadcast on FS1.