WVU Football Report Card: Defense vs Texas Tech
Coming into Saturday's game vs Texas Tech, West Virginia held the title of the nation's No. 1 defense. The Red Raiders heard about it all week and put on a show against West Virginia with new starting QB Henry Colombi. The defense certainly didn't play its best this week, but how did they grade out? Let's take a look!
Run defense: D
West Virginia allowed a total of 179 yards rushing, including 40 yards to quarterback Henry Colombi. The Mountaineers simply had no answer for what Texas Tech was doing in the ground game, but credit Tech's offensive line for opening up some massive holes on a few plays. SaRodorick Thompson hit the home run ball in the first quarter with a 48-yard scamper that gave Tech a 13-7 lead early. He battled what looked like a rib injury throughout the game but still finished with an average of 8.5 yards per carry. West Virginia's linebackers did not play well against the run and much of that may have had to do with Tony Fields II being ejected for targeting in the first half. Regardless, there were a lot of missed tackles and that's something they have to clean up moving forward as the tougher part of their Big 12 schedule awaits.
Pass defense: C+
Colombi only threw for 169 yards but they did hit for two big plays - one for 44 yards to Myles Price and a 20 yarder to Erik Ezukanma. If it weren't for those two plays, I would bump this up to a B. We've seen better play from the corners and they really struggled to come up with stops on 3rd down. Disappointed in their play? No, but surprised? Yes.
Both Darius and Dante Stills registered a sack in this game, but outside of that, it felt like there was no pressure at all. Then again, a lot of what Texas Tech did eliminated the chance for West Virginia to create pressure because they wanted Colombi to move around and get the ball out of his hands quick. However, when he was standing still in the pocket, it didn't seem like there were many throws that he made under duress. I expect a little more out of that group up front.
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