A late defensive touchdown helped Texas Tech pick up its first Big 12 win of the season Saturday in a 34-27 win against visiting West Virginia.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Texas Tech (1-3, 1-3 Big 12) and snapped a two-game winning streak for the Mountaineers (3-2, 2-2)
Utah State transfer quarterback Henry Colombi had the Red Raider offense rolling in the first half in his first collegiate start. Against a WVU defense that was allowing an average of just 248 yards per game prior to Saturday, Colombi and TTU put up 20 points and 235 yards before halftime.
Colombi, who was without two of Texas Tech’s top targets at receiver, completed 15-18 passes for 124 yards and scored two total touchdowns in the first half. WVU’s offense started out well, with Leddie Brown scoring a rushing touchdown on West Virginia’s second drive of the game, but managed just a pair of field goals before halftime and went into the locker room trailing 20-13 at the break.
The Mountaineers came out of the second half hitting on all cylinders. Texas Tech got the ball first in the second half, but WVU defensive end Jeffery Pooler forced a fumble, recovered by defensive tackle Dante Stills just 12 seconds into the half.
After stating the drive at the Texas Tech 24 yard line, WVU’s offense promptly got inside TTU’s five yard line and quarterback Jarret Doege found tight end T.J. Banks for a game-tying two-yard touchdown. The Red Raiders marched right down the field and scored a touchdown of their own, this time from running back Tahj Brooks, to take a 27-20 lead.
The lead did not last long, however, as the Mountaineers responded with a long drive of their own, capped off with Brown’s second rushing touchdown of the game to tie it at 27.
From there both defenses started to settle in. After scoring three combined touchdowns in eight minutes, the next score of the game did not come until there was less than nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
On what was a backbreaker for WVU, Doege completed a pass to sophomore receiver Sam James, who then fumbled the ball right into the hands of Texas Tech defensive back Zech McPhearson. McPhearson scooped up the ball and took it 56 yards for a touchdown to give the Red Raiders a late 34-27 lead.
WVU would punt the ball away on the ensuing drive with just over five minutes to go in the game. The Mountaineer defense did stop TTU’s offense, but the Red Raiders were able to grind the clock down below a minute before punting the ball back to WVU. Doege was unable to connect on a last-second Hail Mary as time expired.
Colombi finished with 169 passing yards and one touchdown and 40 rushing yards with another touchdown. Running back SaRodorick Thompson had 68 rushing yards, including a 48-yard touchdown run, but exited the game in the second half with an injury.
Doege complete 29 of 45 pass attempts for 302 yards with one touchdown. Brown had 77 rushing yards with two touchdowns and 47 receiving yards. Winston Wright was the Mountaineers’ leading receiver with nine catches for 126 yards.