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West Virginia vs. Texas Tech: WVU loses blowout, dashing hopes of special season

Seth Doege and Texas Tech blew out West Virginia Saturday, 49-14.

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WVU projected to play in Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

After losing its first game of the season, West Virginia is now projected to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

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WVU falls to No. 15 in Coaches' Poll

The latest college football rankings were released Sunday, and the West Virginia Mountaineers plummeted from No. 5 to 15 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The tumble is a result from Saturday's 49-14 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. WVU's first loss of the season, which came in blowout fashion, helped the Red Raiders (5-1) move into the rankings at No. 20. Texas Tech was not in the rankings last week.

Overall, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oregon Ducks remained No. 1 and 2. Alabama (6-0) received all 59 first-place votes.

The rest of the top 10 featured some shuffling, as the Kansas St. Wildcats, Florida Gators and Notre Dame Fighting Irish all moved up into the top 5 after big victories and losses by other schools. The LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, South Carolina Gamecocks, USC Trojans and Florida St. Seminoles round out the top 10.

A complete rundown of the Coaches' Poll can be found here.

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WVU blowout loss brings halt to special season

Well, so much for that. West Virginia's Saturday-afternoon game against Texas Tech was a nightmare for the Mountaineers -- the Red Raiders exploited the Mountaineers' weakness (defense) while limiting its offense, losing 49-14. For WVU, a blowout loss against an unranked team effectively ends what might have been a special season, not only for the team, but possibly for quarterback Geno Smith this year.

Smith went into the game as an easy favorite for the Heisman Trophy, but he was badly outdueled by the Red Raiders' Seth Doege -- although, admittedly, Smith didn't get the chance to face off against his own team's terrible defense. Doege threw for 499 yards, with six touchdowns and one interception. Texas Tech scored in its first two possessions and barely slowed down after that, piling up 35 points just by halftime. Meanwhile, Smith didn't turn the ball over, but he went 29-of-55 for 275 yards and just one score. 26 incompletions! For Geno Smith!

Smith deserves only a small portion of the blame, of course. WVU has given up 63, 45 and now 49 points in its three Big 12 games so far. That, even more that Smith and its usually-prodigious offense, might be this team's defining characteristic -- it just can't play defense. Expect poll voters to notice, and to drop WVU all the way out of the top 10. It's a shame, really -- a win over Texas Tech, even a modest one, would have set up a huge showdown against No. 6 Kansas State in Morgantown next week. Now the atmosphere will be a lot more subdued. Oh well. At least Morgantown couch owners can rest easy.

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No. 5 West Virginia down by 35 after 3 quarters

The No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers trail the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 42-7, after three quarters of play at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has struggled against the nation's top-ranked pass defense, completing just over half of his throws.

Smith played well in the opening half, throwing for 175 yards and a touchdown. However, the Red Raiders were able to bear down and hold Smith to just 40 yards through the air in the third quarter. The Mountaineers got a little more out of their running game in the quarter, as Andrew Buie picked up 35 yards on the ground to increase his total to 64 in the game.

Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege started the half slowly, as West Virginia's defense put up a better effort initially. However, Doege was able to connect with Darrin Moore for a 29-yard touchdown pass with three and a half minutes left in the quarter to increase the lead for the Red Raiders. Doege has completed 25 of 35 passes for 431 yards and five scores.

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No. 8 West Virginia on upset alert in Lubbock

The Texas Tech Red Raiders hold a 35-7 lead over the No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns in the opening half.

The Mountaineers' porous defense hurt them, as the unit has allowed 438 yards of total offense to the Red Raiders. Meanwhile, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was hurt by multiple dropped passes in the half, despite throwing for 175 yards and a touchdown.

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Neither of the teams' rushing attacks did much of anything for the majority of the first two quarters, until Texas Tech's SaDale Foster ran 53 yards for a touchdown with just 35 seconds remaining in the half. Meanwhile, Mountaineers running back Andrew Buie has picked up just 29 yards on 10 carries.

Texas Tech wide receiver Jace Amaro was Doege's big target in the first half, catching three balls for 121 yards and a touchdown. West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey has six grabs for 56 yards and a score.

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Red Raiders lead after 1st quarter, 14-7

Seth Doege and the Texas Tech offense found holes in WVU's defense in the first quarter, scoring on their first two possessions and ending up with a 14-7 lead.

Doege and the Red Raiders scored quickly on their first possession of the game, culminating with a 39-yard touchdown reception by Jace Amaro less than two minutes into the game. Then West Virginia uncharacteristically failed to sscore on their own first possession, with Geno Smith throwing an incomplete pass on 4th-and-4 to turn the ball over on downs. The Red Raiders got the ball back with about nine minutes left in the quarter and embarked on a 12-play drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ward, putting Texas Tech up 14-0.

Geno Smith and company finally got on the board in their next possession. A 38-yard pass to a streaking Tavon Austin set up a seven-yard touchdown from Smith to Stedman Bailey. The Mountaineers then finally managed to come up with a stop, as Alex Torres bobbled a pass from Doege and Karl Joseph came up with it. WVU still had the ball as the quarter came to an end.

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Geno Smith and the Mountaineers visit Texas Tech

The high-powered West Virginia offense heads to Texas for the second straight week, this time to face Texas Tech.

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