Texas Tech was looking to beat West Virginia for the first time since 2013 this past Saturday, but fell short. Before I get into the grades, which aren’t as good as we’ve seen in previous weeks, I want to credit the team for their resiliency. The Red Raiders could have completely given up after being down 35-10 going into the half, but they didn’t. So, I applaud their effort and hopefully they can turn these grades around when they play TCU.
Freshman Alan Bowman didn’t start off as strong as he has in the past. In fact, he was 9 of 20 with an interception before being taken out of the game right before the half due to injury (get well, soon Alan!). Of course, a lot of those incompletions were dropped passes by the receivers, which I will go into later, but it just didn’t seem like his day.
Then came in sophomore Jett Duffey. We know Duffey can run and has good arm strength, but he is still having trouble reading the defense. Now, I will credit Duffey for helping the offense come back into this game in the half, but he had a couple of passes that were pretty costly to the team at having a chance of winning the game. The first interception that came right before the half when he threw the ball into a three-man coverage, and the second was a pick 6 at the end of the fourth quarter that pretty much put the game away for the Mountaineers. Duffey’s run game was actually fun to watch, especially his 27-yard scramble to convert the fourth down, but that isn’t enough for a high grade.
Duffey with the video game play on 4th and 9 to set up a Tech FG to make the score 35-20 #JohnDenverBowl— Barstool Big 12 (@BarstoolBig12) September 29, 2018
Running backs: C
The running backs didn’t seem to have the spark we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. In fact, Duffey had more total rushing yards than all five running backs that went into the game. Of course, not all of this is on them. The offensive linemen didn’t have a great day either and that factored into the way the backs ran. Hopefully, we can see these guys go off against TCU. I mean, how many college football teams can say they have five quality running backs at their disposal?
Wide receivers: C+
Texas Tech’s receivers did not play like Texas Tech receivers this week. They had so many uncharacteristic drops, which was the difference between getting first downs and punting. They totaled 295 receiving yards on the day and had some impressive catches in the second half, but I can’t overlook the sloppiness of the first half to give them a better grade. I fully expect a way better performance by these guys the next game because of how talented and athletic they are.
Offensive line: C
To be completely honest, the offensive line really disappointed me against West Virginia. These guys are usually amazing in giving the quarterback time to throw and opening up space for the running backs. But, that really just didn’t happen this week. I’m not sure why this happened, but I’m hoping to see the o-line we all know and love against TCU after this bye week.