The West Virginia football team built, erased and eventually wasted a double-digit lead Saturday, losing at home to Texas Tech by a score of 37-27.
The Mountaineers held a 27-16 lead in the second half, but the Red Raiders scored 21 unanswered points and sealed the victory with a late touchdown pass.
“We refused to make a play on offense, defense or special teams in the last quarter and a half,” said head coach Dana Holgorsen. “We refused to coach well enough to win the game. That will be addressed.”
West Virginia started quarterback Clint Trickett for the third straight game, making him the first of the team’s three quarterbacks to do so in 2013, and finished 27-for-42 with 254 yards and a touchdown.
West Virginia found the endzone on its first two drives of the second half, and led 27-16 with 2:48 left in the third quarter. WVU’s next four drives resulted in 26 total yards and four consecutive three-and-outs. Their fifth drive ended in a turnover on downs.
The Red Raiders entered the game No. 3 nationally in passing offense and No. 6 in total offense. They finished with 573 yards and converted on nine on their 15 third downs. The Mountaineers finished with 437 total yards and two touchdowns from running back Dreamius Smith.
“They played harder and called better plays,” Holgorsen said. “We called the same plays we did in the last quarter and a half than we did in the first two and a half quarters. The first quarter was bad and the fourth quarter was awful.”
The Mountaineers dropped to 3-4 on the season and 1-3 in Big 12 Conference play, while the Red Raiders improved to 7-0 and 4-0 against conference opponents. A win against Texas Tech, who was No. 16 coming into the game, would’ve been a big boost for WVU’s postseason bowl chances.
“When things got tough, we didn’t have anyone who could make a play,” said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
The Red Raiders regained the lead on an 84-yard drive by quarterback Davis Webb and extended their lead to 10 with 1:01 left in the game. Texas Tech scored three touchdowns on their final five drives.
“We got better offensively, but it was in spurts,” Holgorsen said. “When you end the game with five three-and-outs, I think everyone can agree that it was as bad as you can get offensively at the most crucial time in the game.”
The Red Raiders are now 2-1 all-time against the Mountaineers.