Texas Tech 37, West Virginia 27
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Kenny Williams ran for two touchdowns and Davis Webb threw a late touchdown pass to tight end Jace Amaro as Texas Tech fought off a determined upset bid by West Virginia and kept its unbeaten season alive with a 37-27 victory Saturday.
The Red Raiders (7-0) blew a 13-0 lead and fell behind 27-16 before fighting back.
They benefited from a failed gamble by WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, who passed up a field goal attempt on fourth-and-14 at the Tech 26-yard line in the first quarter -- quarterback Clint Trickett's pass for Kevin White falling incomplete.
Tech clinched the game with a 27-yard pass on third-and-6 from the WVU 32, setting up Webb's 10-yard TD pass to Amaro.
Webb completed 36 of 50 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns. Amaro caught nine passes for 136 yards and the two TDs.
It was an intriguing first half that settled nothing as West Virginia rallied from a 13-0 deficit to go to break in a 13-13 tie.
Texas Tech made it look easy as it scored a touchdown on its second possession, driving to the WVU 10 and then having Webb find his massive tight end all alone in the end zone for a 7-0 lead with just four minutes off the clock.
The Mountaineers, who started Trickett after refusing to reveal which quarterback would start until the offense took the field, drove back down the field. But on a first-down run from the Tech 37, running back Charles Sims coughed the ball up and Pete Robertson recovered.
Webb hit 4 of 5 passes and Williams ran for a first down at the WVU 4, and it looked as if the Red Raiders would jump to a big lead. But the WVU defense toughed it out and forced a Ryan Bustin field goal from 21 yards out to make it 10-0.
Again WVU marched down the field, but a pair of penalties pushed the Mountaineers back to the Texas Tech 42 with third-and-30.
Sims broke a draw play for 16 yards, putting the ball at the 26 and giving WVU a fourth-and-14. Everyone in the stadium expected the field goal unit to go onto the field, but Holgorsen gambled, and Trickett's pass fell harmlessly to the turf.
The failed gamble turned into another field goal by Tech's Bustin, from 36 yards, and it was 13-0 before the Mountaineers mounted their comeback.
Josh Lambert kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 13-3 in the second quarter, then the defense came up with the key turning point of the half.
The Red Raiders had driven to the WVU 13 and Webb ran a wide-open draw play that seemed certain to score. As he reached the 1, however, safety Darwin Cook came out of nowhere to hit him from the side and knock the ball loose. Isaiah Bruce recovered at the 1.
Three plays later, Sims broke loose on what seemed to be a sure 99-yard touchdown run -- nothing but green between him and the goal line as he broke clear -- only to be tripped up on a shoestring tackle by Tanner Jacobson.
It appeared the drive might sputter as WVU faced a third-and-13, but Kevin White made a leaping grab of a 40-yard pass from Trickett, which set up a spectacular cutback run by Dreamius Smith for a 38-yard TD.
When Austin Stewart fumbled the ensuing kickoff and WVU's Brandon Napoleon recovered, WVU was in position to get another field goal from Lambert, this of 30 yards, to tie the game at 13 going into halftime.
The second half became a battle of attrition as WVU took the lead only to have Texas Tech keep clawing back.
The Mountaineers took advantage of a tremendous break when interference was called on an interception thrown by Trickett. WVU turned it into a touchdown three plays later when Trickett hit Sims with a 4-yard swing pass.
After Texas Tech picked up a field goal by Bustin, his third, to make it 20-16, Smith added his second TD on a 12-yard run. But the Red Raiders had a ready answer, driving 80 yards to score on a 1-yard run by Williams to make it 27-23.
Another 1-yard burst by Williams early in the fourth quarter regained the lead for Texas Tech at 30-27.
NOTES: Texas Tech was without an injured receiver Jakeem Grant, a force despite being 5 feet 6 and 160 pounds because he is among the fastest players in the Big 12. ... Former WVU coach Frank Cignetti, who is going into the College Football Hall of Fame for his coaching at Indiana (Pa.), was honored at the game. ... Texas Tech, ranked 16th, was the fourth ranked team played by WVU in its first seven games. ... WVU had four first downs by penalty. ... Amaro caught nine passes for 136 yards, the sixth straight game in which he has caught at least eight passes.