The stats and remaining rating of final yr’s drubbing by the hands of Texas Tech had been hung by the chimney with care.
In a matter of talking, anyway, as WVU soccer gamers had been reminded of the loss all week.
“They’ve had our quantity,” is the way in which WVU head soccer coach Neal Brown noticed it. “For no matter purpose, this group has had our quantity.”
On Saturday, it was the Mountaineers who made their very own quantity by ending a four-game shedding streak towards Texas Tech following a 20-13 victory in entrance of fifty,071 followers inside Milan Puskar Stadium.
It was West Virginia’s first win towards the Crimson Raiders (1-3, 0-1 Massive 12) beneath Brown.
“We have been embarrassed final yr in Lubbock (Texas),”Brown stated of the 48-10 loss towards the Crimson Raiders in 2022. “Our guys heard about all of it week. Our guys have been getting patted on the again all week by everybody else for beating Pitt. All I used to be telling them was let’s activate the movie final week in Lubbock.”
What they noticed was a catastrophe.
“Texas Tech did no matter they wished to final yr,” stated WVU security Aubrey Burks, who completed with seven tackles and two move breakups on Saturday.
It was WVU’s protection that flipped the script this time round.
A yr away from being ragged on for poor play, the Mountaineers’ protection has now become their supply for profitable.
“Our protection performed effectively,” Brown stated. “I belief these guys. I took a whole lot of warmth within the offseason, they did, we did, however I knew we had a plan.
“We had a plan, and we play good protection. Whether or not it was at Troy or right here, we play good protection. We all know what it seems to be like.”
What it regarded like Saturday was WVU (3-1, 1-0) limiting Texas Tech to simply 56 yards within the first half after which arising with a fourth-down cease ultimately zone to protect the victory with simply 19 seconds remaining within the sport.
“We simply needed to shut it up,” stated WVU linebacker Trey Lathan, who led WVU with eight tackles and likewise compelled a fumble. “The sport was in our palms and we simply wished to get off the sector as quick as potential.”
WVU did it with 4 performs that informed the story of the sport.
With Texas Tech trailing 20-13, the Crimson Raiders had pushed to the WVU 11-yard line with mainly 4 cracks to tie the sport.
Texas Tech quarterback Behren Morton, who got here into the sport for an injured Tyler Shough late within the first quarter, misfired on first down.
On second down, WVU defensive again Beanie Bishop knocked a move safely away ultimately zone.
On third down, WVU escaped or perhaps even obtained a bit of fortunate when Texas Tech tight finish Jayden York was extensive open behind the top zone, however Morton’s move was a bit of excessive and slipped by York’s palms.
“It was only a miscommunication from me and Andrew Wilson,” Burks stated. “That’s one thing we have now to try and ensure we get fastened.”
On fourth down, WVU despatched security Marcis Floyd off the sting and Floyd was in a position to provide sufficient strain to Morton to trigger his remaining move to fall quick and actually close to nobody ultimately zone.
It was the kind of state of affairs that introduced out the worst within the Mountaineers final season.
A yr later, WVU’s protection has been the star up to now.
“For essentially the most half, all the blokes who’re taking part in performed final yr,” Brown stated. “It’s the identical guys. We added some items, but it surely’s the identical guys. We’re simply taking part in higher. We’re doing a greater job schematically. We’re taking part in higher.”
WVU survived with out beginning quarterback Garrett Greene, who suffered a tricky ankle damage in final week’s win towards Pitt.
In his first collegiate begin, Nicco Marchiol accomplished 12 of 21 for simply
78 yards, however his 9-yard TD move to Kole Taylor gave the Mountaineers a 20-10 lead with 7:33 left within the sport.
“I believed Nicco did some good issues,” Brown stated. “For a man making his first begin in actually poor climate, moist, I believed he did a reasonably good job. We’ve obtained to be higher round him.”
Texas Tech reduce it to 20-13 with a 34-yard discipline aim after which held WVU to a three-and-out.
That gave the Crimson Raiders the ball again on their very own 28 with
Morton and operating again Tahj Brooks — he completed with 149 yards on
25 makes an attempt — drove Tech down the sector for an opportunity to tie the sport, till WVU’s protection lastly had sufficient.
“Not shocked our guys performed effectively defensively,” Brown stated. “They’d reply to the problem.”