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Texas Tech rallies past West Virginia

The SportsXchange

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Texas Tech true freshman quarterback Davis Webb and tight end Jace Amaro led a determined come-from-behind rally against underdog West Virginia and pulled out a 37-27 victory Saturday afternoon before 54,084 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The unbeaten Red Raiders (7-0, 4-0 Big 12), ranked 15th and 16th in the nation, trailed 27-16 late in the third quarter before scoring 21 unanswered points on two 1-yard touchdown runs by Kenny Williams and a 10-yard TD pass to Amaro to put away a seventh consecutive victory.

Webb completed 36 of 50 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

"We talk about it all the time. Fortune favors the bold," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "We're not going to leave it up to anyone else. We knew it was up to him to make good throws, and today he did that."

"I can't believe the efficiency with which that guys throws the ball," said WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. "It looks like he's been the starting quarterback since Aug. 1."

Instead, it was his second start, replacing Baker Mayfield, who injured his knee against Kansas.

Amaro, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end, was no secret to WVU coming into the game. A year ago he caught five passes for 156 yards and a touchdown against them before going out for the season with an injury. In this game, he caught nine passes for 136 yards and both of Webb's TDs.

"He said to put it on his shoulders for the second half, so that's what I did," Kingsbury said. "I told him we were going to get a lot of balls to him. When they went up by 11, the ball went his way and he kept making plays. His size, speed and determination area deadly combination."

"He's a matchup nightmare," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said.

WVU's ground game took control of the game through the second and third quarters as Dreamius Smith made two strong runs of 38 and 12 yards for touchdowns, finishing as the game's leading rusher with 89 yards.

Clint Trickett completed 27 of 43 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown for West Virginia.

Texas Tech sprinted to a 13-0 early lead but WVU (3-4, 1-3) rallied to tie it by halftime, setting up an intriguing battle of wills in the second half.

The second half became a battle of attrition as WVU took the lead only to have Texas Tech keep clawing back.

The Mountaineers took advantage of a tremendous break when interference was called on an interception thrown by Trickett. WVU turned it into a touchdown three plays later when Trickett hit Sims with a 4-yard swing pass.

After Texas Tech picked up a field goal by Ryan Bustin, his third, to make it 20-16, WVU's Dreamius Smith added his second TD on a 12-yard run for a 27-16.

But the Red Raiders had all the answers the rest of the way on offense and defense.

"They had enough fight and will to make enough plays to win the game in the end. We did not have that," Holgorsen said. "We felt good mid-third quarter when we were up 27-13 but the game wasn't over. We refused to make a play on offense, defense or special teams the last quarter and a half. We refused to coach well enough to win the game. That will be addressed."

The Red Raiders roared back, driving 80 yards to score on a 1-yard run by Williams to make it 27-23.

Another 1-yard burst by Williams early in the fourth quarter regained the lead for Texas Tech at 30-27 and then Amaro caught his second TD pass with 61 seconds left to clinch it.

NOTES: Texas Tech was without an injured receiver Jakeem Grant, a force despite being 5-6 and 160 pounds because he is among the fastest players in the Big 12. ... Former WVU coach Frank Cignetti, who is going into the College Football Hall of Fame for his coaching at Indiana (Pa.), was honored at the game. ... Texas Tech, ranked 16th, was the fourth ranked team played by WVU in its first seven games. ... WVU had four first downs by penalty. ... Amaro caught nine passes for 136 yards, the sixth straight game in which he has caught at least eight passes.
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