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Tech Grounded In 31-26 Loss To West Virginia

Full Recap, Game Notes and Post Game Interviews

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Close but not good enough, as Tech struggles offensively against a stingy West Virginia defense. Where did it go wrong... let's take a look.

1st Quarter:

After trading first possession punts for both squads, West Virginia turned a short field into a touchdown going 37 yards in 5 plays. Rushell Shell ran it in from 5 yards out to put WVU up 7-0. Tech would answer, albeit not immediately, with a 10 play 66 yard drive that took, once again, over 4 minutes. Mahomes finds Jakeem Grant open and scores from the 10 yard line to tie the game 7-7.

End of 1st Qtr: Texas Tech 7.... West Virginia 7

2nd Quarter:

After a wonderful punt down to the WVU 1, the Mountaineers would march at will 99 yards to put WVU up 14-7. The play before Wendall Smallwood ran it in from the 16 yard line, WVU faced a 3rd and 14 which they converted. Yet another opportunity to get off the field that Tech can't seem to take advantage of.

Tech's ensuing drive would end on downs as Mahomes couldn't connect with KeKe Coutee on a 4th and 6 deep in West Virginia territory. Tech's defense would force WVU into a 35 yard field goal attempt that Josh Lambert would push right keeping the Red Raiders in the game.

Tech would drive to the West Virginia 18 before an under thrown pass from Mahomes is intercepted by Daryl Worley at the 3 yard line. Not sure if he saw Worley or not, but there was no chance the pass had the distance to get to Lauderdale who was in the endzone. Tech's defense would hold strong and force a punt getting the offense another chance, one they would capitalize on.

On a 3rd and from the 9, Mahomes would throw a perfect pass to the back corner and hit Reginald Davis for the score to tie the game 14-14.

West Virginia would take advantage of a soft prevent scheme by Tech to get within field goal range, and this time Lambert would connect from 39 to give WVU the lead going into halftime.

Halftime: Texas Tech 14.... West Virginia 17

3rd Quarter:

Tech would receive to start the 3rd and promptly be forced to punt as first half struggles continued on the opening drive. Four plays into West Virginia's drive, Skylar Howard throws a poor pass and is intercepted by Justis Nelson giving Tech a short field and chance to go ahead for the first time today. The interception is Nelson's second in three games. 

Starting at the West Virginia 46, Tech would once again get down inside the red zone only to stall and be forced to a field goal attempt. Clayton Hatfield would connect from 34 yards to tie the game, 17-17.

West Virginia answers with a 10 play, 65 yard drive capped by another Schell TD run putting West Virginia up 24-17. Unable to answer on their next drive, West Virginia quickly gets the ball back at their own 13 yard line and look to put the game away. On 2nd and 8 from the 15, Skylar Howard's pass over the middle is deflected by JJ Gaines and intercepted by Breiden Fehoko, who lays out for the pick. The turnover gets Tech the ball at the West Virginia 17 yard line and in prime position to tie the game.

End of 3rd Qtr: Texas Tech 17.... West Virginia 24

4th Quarter:

West Virginia's defense, however, is up for the challenge and again turns Tech's offense away forcing them to a 27 yard field goal by Clayton Hatfield. Tech is down four, 24-20. The look of some of Tech's defensive players says it all as they looked perplexed that two turnovers in plus territory only lead to 6 points.

Needing another stop, Tech's defensive shows signs of fatigue as WVU makes it look easy going 59 yards in 8 plays for the score. WVU only throws once during the drive and Howard caps the drive with a 2 yard QB run, flexing in celebration.

Tech would finally answer, but again taking over 4 minutes to do so. A long, labored drive going, 81 yards over 13 plays and seeing DeAndre Washington score from 17 yards out. Nothing about that play was easy either as Washington didn't actually get in the endzone, only breaking the plane before being turned away. The two point conversion attempt failed as Mahomes would scramble and be tackled at the 1 yard line. WVU leads 31-26.

Tech's offense wouldn't get another opportunity as West Virginia would be able to run out the clock after what would have been a 3rd and long upcoming, was turned into a first down after a Branden Jackson personal foul after the play.

FINAL: Texas Tech 26.... West Virginia 31

Game Notes:

Tech's offense was held to just 378 yards

Mahomes was held under 200 yards passing at 196.

Tech won the turnover battle 2-1

DeAndre Washington rushed for 102 yards and surpassed 1,000 yards for the 2nd straight season

Washington also led the team in receiving with 64 yards on 6 catches

Jakeem Grant was held to just 8 yards on 5 receptions

Justis Nelson and Breiden Fehoko each had an INT

Michael Barden punted for an average of 43.8 yards and had a long of 49.

Tech receivers dropped 6 passes

Prediction vs. Reality

My Prediction: Texas Tech 38 - Oklahoma St 28 (8-2, 5-2)

Prediction Summary: In 2013, Kingsbury shouted, "Fortune favors the bold", before the game winning drive. In 2014, a more cautious 4th and 3 punt from mid-field set up West Virginia's last second FG. This time, West Virginia makes it look slightly easier on this rainy November day. Tech keeps it close, but never really seems in the game. No bye weeks is starting to catch up with the team and injuries start to mount.

Reality: Tech's defense came to play giving up just 31 and forcing 2 turnovers. Unfortunately, those 2 turnovers only turned into 6 points. Sadly the offense looks more lost than the D outside of Grant and Washington and yes that includes Mahomes. 2 games left to get bowl eligible and 8 wins still a possibility.

You can find my full season predictions here.

Post Game Conference

Kliff Kingsbury

Players:

Next Week: vs. Kansas State at Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, 2:30pm kickoff.

As always, tell us what you thought of the game. The good and the bad and what needs to happen going into next week. You can send questions for the mailbag to me on twitter @avcoachsmith or in the comments below, titled Mailbag. You can also submit questions for the podcast and we will answer them on Sunday.