Through one half in Morgantown, Texas Tech is threatening to run West Virginia off its own field. The Red Raiders have not punted and lead 28-17 at the half.
Texas Tech forced two West Virginia three-and-outs and turned them into quick touchdowns. The first came after the first drive of the game, when Nic Shimonek hit T.J. Vasher for a 60-yard snatch-and-dash on the Red Raiders’ second snap.
West Virginia raced down the field in three plays, equaling the score on a 31-yard strike from Will Grier to David Sills. Texas Tech returned volley, this time moseying down the field in 10 plays, the last of which a 6-yard strike from Shimonek to Dylan Cantrell.
The Red Raiders’ defense held serve on the next possession by forcing a 43-yard Mike Molina field goal and, after a missed field goal of their own, forced a second three-and-out, which turned into Shimonek’s third touchdown toss of the first half, a 6-yarder to Keke Coutee.
West Virginia answered with a 5-yard Justin Crawford run and appeared in position to take its first lead when Texas Tech’s punt team took the field for the first time of the day. But punter Dominic Panazzolo ran 13 yards around the left side on 4th-and-1 to keep the drive alive, and Shimonek hit Vasher on a 53-yard bomb one play later.
The Mountaineers momentarily posted their first true stop of the half on Texas Tech’s final possession of the half when Shimonek was intercepted in the end zone, but the pick was wiped out after a roughing the passer penalty. Coutee, however, dropped a touchdown pass on third-and-goal, and Michael Barden missed his second field goal of the half, doinking a 23-yarder off the left upright.
Shimonek finished the half hitting 17-of-24 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns. A host of Red Raiders have pieced together 18 carries for 86 yards.
Grier has completed 18-of-22 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown, but the Mountaineers’ running backs have managed 13 yards in seven carries.
Texas Tech will receive to open the second half.