WOW! What a game.
With WVU down 17 – 28 at half and the sloppy way they were playing on all sides of the ball, I thought WVU was done. My feeling got stronger when Texas Tech scored 7 more at the start of the 2nd half, putting WVU down 17 – 35. Then WVU turned it around scoring 29 unanswered points to win 46 – 35.
While there were several defensive stars for WVU in this game, the offensive stars today were WRs Ka’Raun White and David Sills. I think I even caught Sills talking smack to a couple Texas Tech defenders after one of TD catches. White ended the game with 8 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Sills ended up with 6 catches for 89 yards and 3 TDs. While WR Gary Jennings may not have been a star, he definitely once again proved he is a go to receiver in clutch situations catching 9 passes for 68 yards.
The thing that I didn’t understand was WVU trying to use the run to set up the pass. WVU ended the game with a total of 44 rushing yards. This was the 1st time this season RB Justin Crawford rushed for less than 100 yards. Crawford finished the game with 14 carries for 44 yards, and a TD. With the power running of Martell Pettaway, I thought we would have seen him in the 2nd half.
WVU QB Will Grier had a couple plays that had me asking, ‘what was he thinking’? Why would he throw a pass to White who was in double coverage? – this pass was picked-off by Texas Tech. Then there was the pass that looked like he was throwing to a Texas Tech player, for it was way behind Marcus Simms. This was an intermediate route, not a deep or timing route. Did Grier get the jersey colors mixed up?
Grier finished the game completing 32 of 41 passes for 342 yards. This is a completion ratio of 78% and a QBR of 83.9. Grier had 7 carries for a negative 36 yards. I did see him do a few more pump fakes than usual.
Going forward the offensive line has to pick it up. They had trouble opening running lanes and protecting the QB, and they had way too many penalties in critical situations. But this isn’t new, for we saw the same against VT and TCU. Another area WVU needs to improve is punting for punts of 35 – 40 yards with little hang time doesn’t cut it.
It was a 4th and 1, when TT sent the punter in. Instead of punting TT ran the ball for 5 yards. WVU hasn’t stopped a trick play against any Big 12 team, nor have they run a trick play. Every Big 12 game I’ve watched this season has had a team run one or more trick plays. The only Big 12 I haven’t seen run a trick play is WVU.
WVU CB Mike McDaniels got his second interception this season, and like his first one against TCU it was over-turned. However, Safety Kazire White got his third interception of the season, and this was WVU’s first defensive turn-over in weeks. The one thing WVU’s defense doesn’t do well is create turn-overs. Against Baylor next week WVU should have ample opportunity to work on this skill set. This is also a game where WR Marcus Simms or Reggie Roberson needs to be on their A-game, for their speed could be critical to a WVU victory.