MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Maybe it was nothing, but the wind Saturday at Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium was worth discussing after the Red Raiders beat West Virginia, 49-14.
WVU quarterback Geno Smith had 26 incomplete passes, 15 fewer than he had in the first five games, and a few were affected by the wind that was 18 miles per hour at kickoff and gusted above 30 mph during the game. Some throws ended up short while others moved out of the path of a receiver.
"We got receivers open downfield," said Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen, who was a Texas Tech assistant from 2000-07. "Geno let the wind affect him. I've played around here for eight years and it wasn't any windier (Saturday). It's a nuisance, but if you let that be an excuse, it's going to mess with you and I think it did."
Smith dismissed the wind as a factor after the game.
"The wind didn't bother me," Smith said. "Anyone who says that obviously doesn't know football."
Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) wanted to cover WVU's short and intermediate throws and basically dared WVU to go over top the defense.
"That ball kind of fizzles in the wind on deep balls," Red Raiders Coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Talking to Dana before (the game), we haven't practiced in much wind. It hasn't been very windy the last couple of weeks here before practice.
"He said they've had a lot of wind and that made me not feel very good that they had practiced in the wind. I was hoping it would be an advantage."
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HOLGORSEN HAD A good feeling before last week's win at Texas. He said he had to beg his players to come off the field in pre-game warmups and return to the locker room for the last round of instructions and reminders. The energy on the sideline during the game matched or exceeded that which was in the stands or on the opposite sideline.
Things were different against the Red Raiders.
"It was the intensity with which we took the field," defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said. "We were flat going in, which was amazing. The energy we needed to take the field and be jacked up, I don't think we had that."
The Red Raiders had lost their last five home games against Big 12 Conference teams, hadn't beaten any current member of the Big 12 at home since 2009 and hadn't beaten a ranked Big 12 team at home since 2008. They ended up with their largest margin of victory ever against a top-five team while WVU (5-1, 2-1) had its worst loss since a 45-3 loss to Miami in 2001.
"It was huge," said Tech's Cody Davis, who had 13 solo tackles. "They come in really cocky, just kind of on the high road, so to get up on them fast is big in games like this. You kind of show them we're serious and get a jump on them and get the momentum on our side and our stadium."
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WVU DROPPED to No. 17 in the Associated Press Poll Sunday. The loss prevented the third matchup between top-10 teams ever in Morgantown and the first since 1993. The Mountaineers play host to No. 4 Kansas State (6-0, 3-0) at 7 p.m. on Fox Saturday.
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WVU'S DEFENSE allowed 10 more plays of 20 yards or more, raising the season total to 39. The Mountaineers had never allowed an opponent 600 yards before this season. It has happened twice already and both in the past three games.
"They didn't do anything we hadn't practiced," DeForest said. "They did what we did in practice several times. They just executed it better than we did."