West Virginia puts clamps on Texas Tech, wins 3rd consecutive game
Mountaineers now 3-1, 3 straight home wins.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia took down Texas Tech tonight, 20-13, as redshirt freshman QB Nicco Marchiol made his first start at QB for the Mountaineers.
Texas Tech drove down the field to the WVU 11 with a chance to tie the game late in the 4th, but the Mountaineer defense made a big stand and preserved the win.
West Virginia didn’t have the best start - an early punt gave way to an interception on their second drive, as redshirt freshman QB Nicco Marchiol stared down his target and gave the ball away to Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders would capitalize with a field goal on the ensuing drive, but WVU’s defense held the Raiders to just 14 yards to prevent that from being worse.
Then, the Mountaineer offense responded.
A 13-play, 75 yard touchdown drive came next, including 13 runs, as CJ Donaldson ran for 34 yards and a touchdown on the drive, with Marchiol, Rodney Gallagher, and Jaylen Anderson contributing the rest of the rushing yards. WVU took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter.
The Mountaineer would score next again, with a field goal later in the 2nd quarter - a 12-play, 56 yard drive took the Mountaineers up to the Texas Tech 10, but they were forced to settle for 3 points.
A field goal was again necessary before the break, and West Virginia kept a 13-3 lead into the half.
A terrible third quarter (110 combined yards between both teams, 5 punts and 1 turnover on downs) gave way to a much more exciting fourth.
Texas Tech began to use a hurry-up offense, and found just enough big plays to get into the end zone. QB Behren Morton (who replaced Tech’s QB 1, Tyler Shough, after an injury in the first quarter) would send a fade to Jerand Bradley in the end zone, pushing the score back to a 13-10 game.
Just when things felt dire, Nicco Marchiol and the offense responded with their best drive of the game. After a defensive facemask got the ball moving, Marchiol scrambled for a 17-yard gain, reaching the Texas Tech side of the field.
He then found Preston Fox on a perfect dart from the pocket - Fox took a blow on the tackle, but held onto the ball.
From there, Fox would draw a pass interference penalty in the end zone, pushing the Mountaineers deep into Raider territory - and Marchiol would then find Kole Taylor wide open at the goal line for the 20-10 lead.
That drive gave WVU some breathing room - the Red Raiders hit a field goal to make it 20-13, and then got the ball back with one more chance to tie or win the game.
The Raiders used speed and tempo to move the ball all the way down to the West Virginia 11-yard line - and then managed to miss two perfect scoring opportunities.
On second down, Morton had TE Mason Tharp wide open in the end zone - but Tharp dropped the pass.
On third down, Morton again found an open man, with TE Jayden York - and the ball skipped off his fingertips, falling incomplete.
Then, on fourth down, Morton dropped back with time to throw, but out of nowhere, WVU CB Jordan Jackson came in and forced Morton to throw under duress - the pass fell into the turf, and West Virginia came away with the defensive stand and the 20-13 win.
Highlights and a postgame recap will be posted to this article soon.
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