One team had to win a very ugly football game Saturday in Morgantown. Neither team looked especially crisp on offense. Both defenses were the better units today, but neither unit seemed to hold the offenses down. The offenses just never got things really rolling. But, again, one team had to ultimately lose this game. It was the team whose dark horse talk as a contender in the Big 12 is officially dead. Texas Tech disappoints in a 20-13 loss to West Virginia.
Shough Suffers Major Injury (Again)
Red Raider quarterback Tyler Shough has an extensive injury history in his college career. Unfortunately, his injury bad luck reared its ugly head again. Early in the 2nd quarter, Shough planted for a routine throw when his ankle went in a direction that it was not supposed to. It was gruesome enough that the broadcast stated it wouldn’t be shown again. Shough was seen with an air cast around his ankle as he was in clear pain getting carted off the field. Seeing the injury in real time suggests that Shough is going to be out for a considerable amount of time. With Shough going down, backup quarterback Behren Morton was forced into action.
Red Raider Offense Struggled All Game
It didn’t matter if it was Shough or Morton, the offense never looked to be clicking. In fact, it looked like metal gears grinding without any lubricant to get things operating properly. By the end of the game, the team finished with 321 of total offense. But after the first half, the Red Raiders only had 45 yards of total offense. Morton was not efficient passing, going only 13-for-37 for 158 yards in essentially three-quarters of work. It appeared that the rushing attack had some potential to take over, especially in the 2nd half. But Texas Tech seemed to get away from it any time it showed promise.
West Virginia Had Success On The Ground
It wasn’t classified information that West Virginia was going to try and establish the running game. Texas Tech had a very clear point of attack defensively if they were going to win this game. In the first half, it looked like West Virginia was going to be run at will. The first touchdown drive the Mountaineers was a 13-play drive. The drive saw 12 of the plays were on the ground. Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter clearly made some adjustments in the second half as the Mountaineers couldn’t get anything going after halftime.
West Virginia finished the game with 157 rushing and only 99 yards through the air. The defense, for the most part, did what it needed to do to give the team a chance to win. But, as seemed to be the theme of the day for the entire Red Raider team, the defense let momentum swing back to the Mountaineers at an important moment in the fourth quarter. After Texas Tech scored its first touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 13-10, West Virginia came out and went down the field in seven plays. It covered 79 yards for a touchdown drive that pushed the lead back to 20-10.
“Bury The Tape” Game
Outside of running Tahj Brooks, who continues to have an outstanding season, there isn’t much to take away from the tape in this game. To say that “Texas Tech disappoints” for a third week this season is a gut punch to this program. Offensive coordinator Zach Kittley seemingly never put the offense in positions in which the best players were getting the ball in critical situations. In addition to offensive woes, the Red Raiders had some very undisciplined penalties at crucial points in the game. Overall, Texas Tech finished with nine penalties for 96 yards. It is not too often a team wins the turnover battle 2-0 and keeps a team under 100 yards passing and loses a football game.
Texas Tech Disappoints In First Third Of Season
There is a meme that lives in Texas Tech history that surfaces when the program hits different lows. Today’s game seemed to be a perfect time to spot a sad “Guns Up” if this game was played in Lubbock. Head coach Joey McGuire has to be scratching his head at the poor start to this Red Raider season. Any momentum to be built toward a Big 12 run didn’t even get started before it ended Saturday in Morgantown.
This team is not living up to “The Brand” that McGuire has tried to instill in this program. The Oregon loss was forgivable; it was a close-fought game against a team that appears to be a potential playoff team. But the losses to Wyoming and now West Virginia have been littered with plenty of head-scratching coaching decisions and a lack of consistent playmakers stepping up in crunch time. West Virginia is better than the preseason expectations, but the Red Raiders are now officially in danger of missing a bowl game.