Texas Tech football: Matt Wells’ last-second win over West Virginia could be a watershed moment

After being lynched in front of thousands of people in Austin, Texas, last week, the Texas Tech football team had two options. When the Red Raiders faced a daunting road test against West Virginia in Morgantown on Saturday, they had the option of calling it a season. Fortunately, they won by a score of 23-20, which could have shifted the entire season and program

A victory over the Mountaineers does not call for a triumphant parade down Broadway. In fact, Neal Brown’s team has only played three games this season.

The win, on the other hand, washed away the sting of last week’s 70-35 loss in Austin for every Red Raider. As a result, athletic director Kirby Hocutt will be able to assess the current state of Texas Tech football by determining whether the team maintains adequate support from its understandably fickle and frustrated fan base.

Tech is now two wins away from bowl eligibility, which is critical for head coach Matt Wells’ job security. A victory over the Kansas Jayhawks would be Tech’s 13th of the season, and they still have one game remaining on their schedule.

If Wells’ team had lost on Saturday, Tech would have faced a three-game losing streak if it faced TCU the following week. Tech would have had to beat Oklahoma, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Baylor to get to six points.

When quarterback Jarrett Doege carelessly threw the game’s final pass out of bounds, the Red Raiders’ season took a turn for the worse. As a result, a game with more dramatic highs and lows was cancelled.

After a strong first quarter, the Red Raiders jumped out to an early 14-0 lead

Wells’ team would be up 17-0 at the half, and things were looking up in Raiderland.

Although Texas Tech’s secondary was vulnerable due to the absence of three starters to begin the game, West Virginia abandoned the run and relied entirely on the air to win. By the end of the third quarter, Tech’s once-comfortable lead had vanished into the mountain air, with both teams tied at 17-17 heading into the fourth.

After trading field goals, Tech was able to mount one final drive to secure the victory. The tenacity of Henry Colombi helped Tech move the ball 70 yards in eight plays to get within field goal range.

The victory over West Virginia on Saturday came as a complete surprise. With a third of their regular starters missing and having to rely on their backup quarterback, the Red Raiders appeared vulnerable after the egg they laid in Austin.

Nonetheless, credit must go to Wells and his shattered coaching staff, who not only found a way to get their team ready to play, but also devised a winning formula. Depending on how it is viewed, the victory could be a true turning point for Texas Tech football in the short and long term.


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