No. 5 West Virginia stumbles 49-14 to Texas Tech
By BETSY BLANEY
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Put that Heisman talk on hold. A second straight trip to Texas turned out to be too much for Geno Smith and No. 5 West Virginia to handle.
Texas Tech's defense and a swirling wind confounded Smith and the Mountaineers' defense couldn't stop the Red Raiders in a 49-14 victory Saturday.
Smith, who had thrown for 24 touchdowns coming into the game and established himself as the Heisman Trophy front-runner, had only one TD pass against the nation's top-ranked pass defense.
"They rank up there with all of them," said Smith, who still is without an interception this season. "Everyone's going to give us their best shot. We're the offense that everyone's gunning for. We get all the media attention."
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said Smith was struggling with the wind, which whipped around the stadium at about 20 mph.
"Geno let the wind affect him," said Holgorsen, who coached at Texas Tech with Mike Leach from 2000-2007. "I played around here for eight years and it wasn't any windier today. I mean it's a nuisance but, you know, if you let that be an excuse then it's going to mess with you and, I think it did."
A week after beating Texas in Austin, and a week before what could have been a match-up of unbeaten in Morgantown, W.Va., with Kansas State, the Mountaineers fell flat in Lubbock. Their awesome offense, couldn't overcome their bad defense, this time.
Seth Doege passed for six touchdowns and a career-high 499 yards.
Red Raider fans stormed the field after the win, the most lopsided Texas Tech victory ever over a team ranked in the top five.
Tech's defense consistently stymied West Virginia's offense. The Mountaineers were averaging 52 points per game, but Smith completed 29 of 55 passes for 275 yards.
The Red Raiders offense had no such trouble.
Doege threw TD passes of 39, 19, 16, 2, 29 and 7 yards. He completed 32 of 42 passes and the six touchdowns matched his career-high. Darrin Moore caught three touchdown passes, which matched his career high.
Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1) had 18 plays of 15 yards or more, including a 61-yard pass to Jace Amaro and a 53-yard touchdown run by SaDale Foster.
Amaro finished with five receptions for 156 yards.
The Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1) last week converted all five fourth-down tries in their 48-45 win at Texas, but against the Red Raiders they made just one of six.
Doege had one interception, an improvement over the five he'd thrown in the previous two games.
The win for Texas Tech was the second over a top-10 team in as many seasons. The Red Raiders beat No. 3 Oklahoma 41-38 to break the Sooners' 39-game win streak in Norman.
On seven first-half possessions, the Red Raiders scored touchdowns on five. Texas Tech wasn't as efficient in the second half but by then they were so far ahead it didn't matter.
The Mountaineers got just one touchdown in the second half and that came when the game was already out of reach.
Dustin Garrison scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 49-14.
The Mountaineers had the third-worst pass defense coming into the game (336 yards) and didn't do anything to improve on that.
The first half set the pace for the rest of the game. The Red Raiders started fast and kept the Mountaineers off balance. They got 168 rushing yards on 29 carries and passed the ball 43 times.
After the Mountaineers failed to convert on fourth-and-3 deep in Texas Tech territory, Doege needed just three plays to get his third touchdown of the game. The senior quarterback first connected with Amaro on a short pass along the near sideline and the receiver turned it into a 61-yard gain - Texas Tech's longest play from scrimmage this season - to the Mountaineers 21.
Two plays later, Doege hit Marcus Kennard for 16-yard touchdown pass to put the Red Raiders up 21-7.
Texas Tech's offense already was in rhythm by then, going up 14-0 in the first quarter. Doege hit a wide-open Amaro over the middle at about the 20-yard line and he ran it in for a 39-yard touchdown on the Red Raiders first possession.
Doege then found Eric Ward on a fade route on the far corner of the end zone to put Texas Tech up 14-0.
The Mountaineers answered, momentarily. Smith started with a short field after the Red Raiders squibbed the kickoff. Five plays later Stedman Bailey dived to pull in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Smith and pull West Virginia within 14-7. The drive included a 38-yard pass from Smith to Tavon Austin.
Updated October 13, 2012