As the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-2) push forward in the 2021 season, they will face off against familiar Big 12 foe, Texas Tech, in Morgantown on Saturday. Texas Tech, led by head coach Matt Wells, is coming in at 3-1 after a rough loss to Texas last Saturday.
The Mountaineers and Red Raiders have played ten times, including nine time since WVU joined the Big 12 conference in 2012. West Virginia leads the all-time series 6-4. Although both teams often end up in the middle of the pack for the conference, there are still a multitude of classic games between WVU and Texas Tech.
2012 (Lubbock, TX)
Following a large victory in the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl, the Mountaineers came into their first season in the Big 12 on top of the college football world. Quarterback Geno Smith was a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey returned to show off their NFL talents for one more year.
As the 2012 season began, WVU stayed hot. In their first two games in the Big 12 conference, the Mountaineers took down No. 25 Baylor by a score of 70-63, and then went on the road to Texas and beat the No. 11 Longhorns 48-45. Coming into the game against Texas Tech, West Virginia climbed to No. 5 in the nation while Texas Tech came in unranked.
The 2012 Texas Tech squad was led by head coach Tommy Tuberville, but the main culprits of upset against the Mountaineers are familiar faces to the WVU program. Current WVU head coach, Neal Brown, was the offensive coordinator for the Red Raiders, and his quarterback was Seth Doege, who is the brother of current WVU starting quarterback Jarret Doege.
The Red Raiders came out firing, as Seth Doege completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jason Amaro to grab an early lead. Shortly after the opening score, Texas Tech found the endzone again, this time by a 19-yard strike from Doege to Ryan Bustin. WVU would answer with a touchdown pass to Stedman Bailey from seven yards out to cut the lead to 14-7 after the first quarter. This would be the only back-and-forth sequence of the game.
In the second quarter, Texas Tech would start running away with the game by torching the Mountaineer defense repeatedly. Texas Tech scored three touchdowns in the second quarter without an answer from WVU. The Red Raiders took a commanding 35-7 lead into halftime.
Texas Tech kept the foot on the gas, as they added a touchdown in the third quarter and another in the fourth quarter. Texas Tech would win in blowout fashion by the score of 49-14. Seth Doege threw for 499 yards and six touchdowns.
2014 (Lubbock, TX)
In the next matchup in Lubbock, Texas, the Mountaineers were looking to beat Texas Tech for the first time since joining the conference. Led by Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback, the Mountaineers had plenty of spark in their game on the offensive side.
The first quarter didn’t go as planned for WVU, as they gave up two touchdown passes to wide receiver Devin Lauderdale, including one from 76 yards out. Texas Tech led 14-3 after a quarter.
Early in the second quarter, West Virginia running back Rushel Shell took a carry into the end zone from 12 yards out to make it 14-10 ballgame. Not long after, Red Raider wide receiver Jakeem Grant took a slant route to the endzone for a touchdown from 43 yards out. Texas Tech took a 21-10 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, WVU kicker Josh Lambert would cut the lead to 21-13 with his second field goal of the day. Texas Tech would answer with two field goals of their own, both coming from inside of 30 yards to make it 27-13. Before the quarter ended, the Mountaineers would strike, as Clint Trickett found the speedy receiver Jordan Thompson for a 56-yard touchdown. WVU would go into the fourth quarter down 27-20.
About halfway through the fourth quarter, Texas Tech seemed destined to win, as running back Justin Stockton broke loose on a run up the middle, and after breaking a tackle, took it all the way for a 69-yard touchdown. This gave the Red Raiders a 34-20 advantage with only 7:32 left to play.
Clint Trickett and the Mountaineer offense would come alive late, as the senior quarterback would find star wide receiver Kevin White on a sideline pattern route that was hauled in for a 26-yard touchdown. This big play cut the Texas Tech lead to 34-27 with just under six minutes to go.
The WVU defense came up big, forcing a Texas Tech punt right after the touchdown. This gave the Mountaineer offense a shot to tie the game late. After driving down the field, Rushel Shell scored a touchdown from a yard out on fourth and goal to tie the game with 2:02 to play. The WVU defense forced another quick punt to give the ball back to the offense with not much time left. With half a minute remaining, Clint Trickett completed back-to-back 11-yard receptions to Jordan Thompson to get the ball into Red Raider territory.
With three seconds remaining, head coach Dana Holgorsen sent out kicker Josh Lambert for a 55-yard field goal. The Texas native stepped up a drilled the 55-yarder as time expired to give West Virginia a 37-34 victory.
2016 (Lubbock, TX)
Going into Lubbock in the 2016 season, West Virginia was looking for a third straight victory against the Red Raiders. The matchup featured senior WVU quarterback Skylar Howard and future NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes for Texas Tech.
In the first quarter, WVU jumped out in front with a 10-yard touchdown run by Justin Crawford. Late in the quarter, Patrick Mahomes made a wild throw that made it through the defense for a touchdown. These types of plays have made Mahomes very popular over the past couple of years for the Kansas City Chiefs.
After a quarter, WVU led 10-7.
Mahomes and the Red Raiders would not fare well in the second quarter, as WVU scored two touchdowns on the ground with no answer. The Mountaineers led 24-10 at halftime.
In the third quarter, both teams added a field goal, so the Mountaineer lead went to 27-10 with a quarter to play.
West Virginia dominated the fourth quarter with three more rushing touchdowns, while Texas Tech only put the ball in the end zone one more time. WVU went on to win the game 48-17. Skylar Howard totaled 407 total yards with three touchdowns (one passing, two rushing), while Patrick Mahomes threw for 305 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Mahomes went 0-2 as a starter against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
2017 (Morgantown, WV)
In 2017, Texas Tech came to Morgantown ranked No. 24 in the country, while WVU sat unranked. This 2017 Mountaineer team featured former five-star recruit and Florida transfer Will Grier at quarterback, with a talented group of receivers to help him.
Texas Tech got out to a quick start early in the first quarter when quarterback Nic Shimonek threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Vasher to open up the scoring. West Virginia would respond, as Will Grier threw a ball downfield off of his back foot that made its way into the hands of David Sills for a 31-yard touchdown. After a short touchdown pass from Nic Shimonek and a WVU field goal, the score was 14-10 after a quarter.
In the second quarter, the action would ensue with Nic Shimonek throwing a six-yard touchdown pass to Keke Coutee to extend the Red Raider lead to 21-10. WVU would answer with a Justin Crawford five-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-17. With around five minutes left in the half, Nic Shinonek connected with T.J. Vasher on a long ball pass to the endzone. The touchdown gave Texas Tech a 28-17 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, Texas Tech extended their lead when running back Tre King found the endzone from 30 yards out. Down 35-17, Mountaineer students started to file out right before the Mountaineers heated up.
With 5:07 left in the third quarter, Will Grier threw a beautiful touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone to David Sills to cut the Texas Tech lead to 35-24. Early in the fourth quarter, Grier threw a deep jump ball pass to the endzone near the sideline that was hauled in by Ka’raun White for the Mountaineer touchdown. West Virginia would go for a two-point conversion to make it a three-point game, and they succeeded on a pass to David Sills in the back of the endzone. The score was now 35-32 with 13 minutes left to play.
WVU would keep scoring, as Will Grier found Ka’raun White again, this time on a slant route across the middle that was caught for a 17-yard touchdown. WVU now led 39-35 with 9:14 left in the ballgame. After the touchdown, the Mountaineer defense forced the Red Raiders into a third straight punt. The Mountaineer offense was rolling, and another touchdown would be the nail in the coffin for the Red Raiders.
The Mountaineer offense provided the dagger, as Will Grier found David Sills for his third touchdown of the game with 3:23 remaining. Up by 11 late, Nic Shimonek threw an interception to current Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Kyzier White. This would end the game, and West Virginia’s late rally would propel them to a 46-35 victory. WVU scored an impressive four touchdowns on their last five possessions of the game. Will Grier threw for 352 yards with five touchdowns to give the Mountaineers their fourth straight victory against the Red Raiders.
West Virginia will welcome Texas Tech to Morgantown on Saturday for homecoming weekend in Morgantown. The Red Raiders defeated WVU in both 2019 and 2020, so the Mountaineers will be looking to get some revenge on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET from Milan Puskar Stadium.