Updated 7:03 p.m. ET: Things didn’t get any better for No. 5 West Virginia in the second half. Texas Tech continued to dominate the Mountaineers in every aspect of the game, winning by a whopping 49-14.
Geno Smith still managed 275 yards — on 55 attempts, mind you — and kept his interception-less streak alive. But, Smith was upstaged by TTU quarterback Seth Doege, who tossed for 499 yards and six scores. And Tech’s defense? Outstanding all game. The Red Raiders may not have the best defense in the country statistically like they did before last week’s loss to Oklahoma, but it’s clearly improved from a year ago.
Smith’s Heisman chances — because let’s face it, that’s the story for WVU now that a BCS championship is out of the picture — took a bit of a hit, but he still has some cushion. Like Robert Griffin III and Baylor last season, the pressure is on Smith and this offense to be near perfect because of the defensive ineptitude.
We saw today what happens when they’re not.
I’d like to apologize to the fine people of West Virginia. By stating last week that the Mountaineers needed to be taken seriously in the Big 12 for a 48-45 win on the road against Texas, which now looks less impressive following Oklahoma’s rout of the Longhorns today, I have jinxed this team something fierce.
That, or WVU just isn’t as good as its No. 5 ranking claims. Or, I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s all possible. Regardless, the Mountaineers are absolutely getting manhandled by Texas Tech 35-7 at the half.
The Mountaineer defense has been predictably awful, but it’s Texas Tech’s defense that is the story of the game so far. WVU was 5-for-5 on fourth down conversions against UT last week; they’ve yet to convert one today. That’s been one of the big differences in the game so far.
TTU is getting all kinds of pressure on Geno Smith and locking down arguably the best one-two punch of receivers in the Big 12 in Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. This offense is good, but it’s having a tough time finding the end zone and the defense is too much of a liability.
Lubbock is a funny place where favored teams can easily come out with a loss. WVU is getting to know this first hand. Of course, if any offense is built to come back it’s this one, but you have to play defense for that. So, we’re about 30 minutes away from saying it together:
“Welcome to the Big 12, West Virginia.”