Morgantown, WVa—–In front of a home crowd of 50,027 the West Virginia Mountaineers earned their third consecutive victory of the 2023 season this past Saturday evening in a hard fought battle versus the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Mountaineers were led by backup quarterback Nicco Marchiol in his first collegiate start. The Mountaineers 20-13 victory marked head coach Neal Brown’s first win over Texas Tech during his tenure in Morgantown.
The game had its share of turnovers, with Marchiol throwing an interception that led to a field goal for the Red Raiders early. West Virginia responded with a 13-play drive that ended with CJ Donaldson running in a touchdown, giving the Mountaineers a 7-3 lead after the first quarter. Kicker Michael Hayes followed up with a pair of field goals to give WVU a 13-3 lead at the half.
“Ecstatic to come out victorious,” Marchiol said.
Both teams struggled to find consistent offense throughout the whole second half. The Red Raiders were able to put together a touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter, on the legs of running back Tahj Brooks. Tech backup quarterback Behren Morton capped the drive off with a six-yard touchdown pass to Jerand Bradley to make the score 13-10 with 11:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers managed to put together a critical drive ending in a touchdown pass from Marchiol to tight end Kole Taylor, making it 20-10.
In the final minutes, Texas Tech attempted comeback but fell short. The Mountaineer defense stood firm, forcing four-straight incompletions in the red zone to secure the 20-13 victory.
Marchiol finished the day 12-of-21 passing for 78 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while also leading the team’s ground attack with 72 yards on 15 carries. CJ Donaldson finished with 48 yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts. Tight end Kole Taylor had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.
“Obviously not a good quarterback performance on my end,” Marchiol said. “Could have been much better.”
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Mountaineers are building momentum as they head into their first conference game on the road against the TCU Horned Frogs next Saturday night.
Texas Tech Behren Morton finished 13 of 37 for 158 yards.
Texas Tech hosts Houston next Saturday.
West Virginia travels to TCU next Saturday night.