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Behren Morton Time in Lubbock: Red Raiders Lead Mountaineers 17-3 At Half

The Red Raiders are flexing their offensive muscles against West Virginia on Saturday.
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The Texas Tech Red Raiders are coming off a disappointing 41-31 loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago, but thankfully, memories are short.

Freshman quarterback Behren Morton got the start that day and had a massive first half, and it looked like the upset was in the making until an injury suffered just before halftime slowed him down.

Morton got the nod under center on Saturday and after the rest of the bye week, picked up where he left off in the first half two weeks ago.

The Red Raiders took the opening kickoff 75 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead. Morton completed four passes on six attempts for 54 yards on the drive, including a six-yard completion to Mason Tharp on a 4th and 4 from the West Virginia 40-yard line.

Tech got to the 19-yard line and put the ball in the hands of running back Tahj Brooks, who ran the final 19 yards untouched, up the middle for the touchdown. 

The Red Raiders' defense showed up too, holding the Mountaineers to a three-and-out on its first possession of the game.

The Red Raiders scored again on their second possession, taking advantage of two more fourth-down conversions. A 16-play, 80-yard drive ended with another Brooks touchdown run, this time from just one yard out. 

Morton completed an eight-yard pass to Xavier White on 4th and 4 from the West Virginia 34, then found Tharp again for 19 yards on 4th and 4 from the Mountaineers' 20-yard line to set up the Brooks touchdown run for a 14-point Tech lead with 8:35 left in the quarter.

West Virginia moved the ball with a little more success on the next drive and converted its own fourth-down from the Tech 27 on 4th and 3. Mountaineers quarterback JT Daniels found Kade Prather for five yards to extend the drive.

But the Tech defense held the Mountaineers to a 38-yard field goal by Casey Legg.

Red Raiders kicker Trey Wolff hit from 46 yards out early in the second quarter to push the lead back to 14 points. After that kick, Wolff has made nine of his 12 kicks this season.

In the first three Mountaineers' drives, the Tech defense held them to two three-and-outs.

The Red Raiders offense converted more two fourth downs with a six-yard completion from Morton to Martinez on 4th and 2 from the West Virginia 49, then a SaRodorick Thompson run for four yards on a 4th and 2 from the Mountaineers' 35.

But the fourth-down luck ran out after going six-for-six with a Morton sack for nine yards on a 4th and 1 from the West Virginia 22 forcing a turnover on downs.

Just before halftime, the Red Raiders' defense returned the favor with a fourth down stop of its own with a sack of JT Daniels for a loss of eight yards on 4th and 10 from the Tech 29.

The Mountaineers put together a drive to finish the half and took a shot at the end zone with 13 seconds left but it was intercepted by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson in the end zone.

The Red Raiders carry a 17-3 lead into the half while Morton is 18-of-29 on the day with 162 yards passing. Brooks leads the team in rushing with 56 yards on eight carries while White leads all receivers with 41 yards. 

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