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Texas Tech 23, West Virginia 20

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Jonathan Garibay’s 32-yard field goal with 18 seconds left lifted Texas Tech to a 23-20 victory over West Virginia on Saturday.

Garibay had three field goals in all and SaRodorick Thompson had two short touchdown runs for Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), which bounced back from a 70-35 loss at Texas.

Despite missing two key offensive playmakers, the Red Raiders beat the Mountaineers (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) for the third straight time, all when using a backup quarterback.

Henry Colombi staked Texas Tech to a 17-0 lead and, after watching West Virginia come back twice to tie it, led the Red Raiders on the decisive 70-yard drive.

Colombi threw 42 yards to Kaylon Geiger to put Texas Tech at the West Virginia 38. Thompson then ran 16 and 13 yards on the next two plays to put the Red Raiders in range for the winning field goal.

West Virginia wasn’t able to get past midfield on its final drive.

Texas Tech didn’t need Erik Ezukanma to move the ball. The Big 12’s leading receiver did not play after getting hurt against Texas last week. But the Red Raiders just didn’t go down the field in their customary huge chunks, either. Texas Tech also was without leading rusher Tahj Brooks, who missed his second straight game with a leg injury.

West Virginia outgained Texas Tech 424 yards to 346 after the Mountaineers were limited to 109 yards in the first half in their final home game for nearly a month.

After the Mountaineers managed just a field goal after halftime in each of its three previous games against Power Five opponents, coach Neal Brown stressed all week that his offense needed more explosive plays.

It took some time, though.

After getting shut out in the first half, West Virginia scored on its first three second-half possessions. Jarret Doege broke a streak of eight quarters without a touchdown pass when he found Isaiah Esdale in the end zone from 14 yards out late in the third quarter to tie the score at 17.

THE TAKEAWAY

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders entered the game with a national-best nine offensive plays of at least 50 yards and 12 plays of 40 yards or more. With Colombi getting his first start of the season in place of the injured Tyler Shough, Texas Tech was much more methodical, needing eight plays or more on four of its five scoring drives.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have yet to play a complete game on offense against a major opponent this season, now have a two-game losing streak and have their next two games on the road

 

TEXAS TECH POSTGAME NOTES

GETTING STARTED

  • Today’s weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy.
  • Texas Tech lost the coin toss. WVU elected to defer to the second half. Texas Tech started the game with the ball.
  • Today’s game was televised by ESPN2. All five games in 2021 have been on the ESPN family of networks.
  • Today’s game marked the 11th all-time meeting between Texas Tech and West Virginia, and the 10th time as Big 12 foe. The only meeting before WVU joined the Big 12 in 2012, came in the 1938 Sun Bowl.
  • Today’s game was the second of back-to-back Big 12 road games to open the season. The Red Raiders split their games in 2002, 2004 and 2021 and lost the pair in 2014 when faced with the same road task.
  • Texas Tech wore white helmets, white jerseys and white pants against West Virginia. Since 2009, the Red Raiders are now 11-6 in the combination used today.
  • Today’s game captains were Tony Bradford Jr., Josh Burger and Riko Jeffers. .
  • As part of Texas Tech’s pregame entrance, Travis Koontz carried the U.S. flag, Myles Price ran out with the state of Texas flag.
  • Today’s attendance: 54,090.

Starters – (Offense) – (LT) T.J. Storment, (LG) Weston Wright, (C) Josh Burger, (RG) Ethan Carde (RT) Caleb Rogers, (QB) Henry Colombi, (RB) Xavier White, (TE) Travis Koontz, (TE) Mason Tharp, (WR) Kaylon Geiger Sr., (WR) Loic Fouonji; (Defense) – (DE) Tyree Wilson, (N) Jaylon Hutchings, (T) Tony Bradford Jr. (SAM) Colin Schooler, (MIKE) Riko Jeffers, (WILL) Jesiah Pierre, (SPUR) Kosi Eldridge, (CB) Rayshad Williams, (CB) Adrian Frye, (S) Eric Monroe. (S) Reggie Pearson Jr,

TEXAS TECH’S WIN…

  • Gives Texas Tech a 4-1 overall record in 2021. It is the Red Raiders’ best start since 2017, which also marked their last bowl appearance.
  • Gives Texas Tech a 5-6 all-time record against West Virginia.
  • Gives Texas Tech a 5-5 all-time record against West Virginia in Big 12 games.
  • Gives Texas Tech three-straight wins against West Virginia.
  • Gives Texas Tech a 3-2 mark in games played at Milan Puskar Stadium.
  • Gives Matt Wells a career record of 12-15 at Texas Tech.
  • Gives Matt Wells a 56-49 career record all-time as a head coach.
  • Gives Matt Wells a 3-0 career record all-time against West Virginia.

TEXAS TECH’S TEAM NOTES

  • Texas Tech entered the game being outscored 42-14 by its opponents in the first quarter though its’ first four games – Tech doubled its first quarter scoring as they led West Virginia 14-0 after the first quarter.
  • Texas Tech shutout West Virginia in the first half, 17-0. It was the first time to Red Raiders’ pitched a first half shutout since facing UTEP in 2019.
  • Texas Tech shutout a Big 12 opponent for the first time in the first half since traveling to Kansas on Oct 17, 2015.
  • West Virginia’s best starting field possession of four total drives was at their own 18 yard-line.
  • The Red Raiders, known for its explosive plays, tallied 207 first half yards, but zero explosive plays. Tech finished with 346 total yards of offense and two explosives in the game.
  • Texas Tech recovered its first fumble of the 2021 season
  • The Red Raiders’ rushing defense, which ranked No. 5 in the nation in rushing yards against prior to its’ matchup with Texas, allowed just 94 rushing yards and limited Leddie Brown to 57 yards on the ground.
  • Special Teams Impact: Jonathan Garribay hits a season-high three field goals on three attempts, including the game-winner with 18 seconds left in the contest. Meanwhile punter Austin McNamara records two of three punts of 50+ yards, and two punts inside the 20-yard line, averaging 46.0 in the game.
  • The Red Raiders’ special teams unit limited the nation’s second-leading man in kickoff return yardage, Weston Wright, to 36 yards on three attempts. He entered the game averaging 41.2 yards per return on nine attempts.
  • Tech’s offensive line, down mainstay at center Dawson Deaton, allowed just 3.0 sacks in the game. West Virginia entered the game as the Big 12 leader and No. 14 in the FBS averaging 3.5 per game.
  • Tech’s offense was a season-best 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) on third-down conversions, and has posted back-to-back weeks of converting north of 50 percent on third downs.

NOTING THE RED RAIDERS

  • Henry Colombi started at quarterback for the first time in 2021. He entered the game with four career starts under Matt Wells – coincidently his first coming against West Virginia in 2020. And transferred to Texas Tech from Utah State, where he also played under Wells in 2018 and arrived on campus in Logan under his watch in 2017.
  • Longest consecutive starts streak on the team, owned by Dawson Deaton, came to an end on Saturday.
  • SaRodorick Thompson scored his 25th and 26th career touchdowns, the second and third of the 2021 season. It was his eighth career game with multiple touchdowns rushing.
  • Tech extended its consecutive-game scoring streak to 296 games, which dates back to the 1997 season. Entering Saturday, the streak ranked eighth nationally, and the third-longest active streak in the Big 12 behind TCU and Oklahoma.
  • Kaylon Geiger posted a season-high seven receptions.
  • Colin Schooler logged a strip-sack (his fifth career forced fumble, and third as a Red Raider), and was recovered by Devin Drew (first career fumble recovery). Schooler is now 2.0 TFLs from reaching NCAA record book’s all-time Top 25.
  • Colin Schooler finished with 15 tackles, one tackle short of his career-high (16) set while playing for Arizona in 2018 against BYU. It does mark his all-time high as a Red Raider.
  • Jaylon Hutchings’ sack in the second quarter gives him a team-lead 3.0 for the season.
  • First career starts: Jesiah Pierre and Loic Fouonji, first of the season for Ethan Carde.

Release provided by Matt Dowdy Texas Tech Athletics


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