Mountaineer-Texas Tech Postgame Notebook
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Payback wasn’t quite what it might have been as West Virginia and Texas Tech got into a little pre-game jawing and shoving at mid-field.
The skirmish wasn’t exactly a surprise to either side. Apparently, the bubbling-over of emotions at Milan Puskar Stadium was a sequel from 2016.
“That was from last year,” Texas Tech defensive end Eli Howard said. “They came to our house and started scuffling, trying to intimidate us. Sometimes you don’t like a guy and you tell him.”
But it isn’t always completely personal. David Long indicated that teams often try to display their confidence before a game, regardless of the opponent.
“We knew that’s what (Texas Tech) would try to do,” Long said. “We did that to them on their field.”
The emotion-charged game certainly had something to do with the aggressive play on the field. Both teams combined for 25 penalties for 252 yards.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen acknowledged last year’s scuffle had much to do with this year’s. The fact the Mountaineers drubbed the Raiders 48-17 also gave the visitors a reason to have a chip on their collective shoulder.
“I don’t promote that,” Holgorsen said. “That has happened this year at all. It wasn’t surprising that it was a little chippy early. It was a fairly clean game. I’m not talking about penalties. I didn’t see anything cheap. I didn’t see anything inappropriate from a personal foul perspective. I thought it was minimal.”
The animosity between the coaches certainly is.
WVU offensive coordinator Jake Spavital and Texas Tech linebackers coach Zac Spavital are bothers. Holgorsen lists Kingsbury as one of his closest friends in the coaching business.
“That was an important game for them and they came ready to play,” Holgorsen said. “I give their coaches a lot of credit.”
GRIER-ING UP: After throwing for 352 yards, WVU quarterback Will Grier extended his streak of consecutive 300-yard passing games to six. He’s chasing Clint Trickett who logged eight 300-yard passing games from Oc. 18, 2013 against Baylor to Nov. 30, 2014 against Iowa State.
Grier’s 32 completions are the most for a WVU quarterback since Trickett connected for 36 against Texas Nov. 8, 2014.
Grier’s 21 touchdowns through six games are already enough to move him into No. 7 in single-season touchdown passes, tying Pat White who had 21 in 2008.
QUOTABLE: WVU safety Kyzir White on Texas Tech kicker Michael Barden, who missed field goal attempts of 43, 23 and 27 yards: “Rough day for their kicker. Definitely.”