Football, Local Sports, Sports, WVU Sports

Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey led comeback against West Virginia

LUBBOCK, Texas – It turns out Jett Duffey was not named ironically.

The speedy Texas Tech backup quarterback literally gave West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen a headache as he attempted to lead the Red Raiders from a 25-point halftime deficit before ultimately throwing a backbreaking interception to Mountaineers cornerback Keith Washington late in the fourth quarter.

“Right now, my head hurts,” Holgorsen said after the game, “because it was very stressful.”

The Mountaineers didn’t plan for Duffey because there was no need to. Freshman pocket passer Alan Bowman came into the game leading the country with 397 passing yards per game.

But Bowman never came back after getting crunched by WVU defensive end Ezekiel Rose and Washington on a second quarter blitz. Bowman had to leave the stadium altogether and get evaluated at a local hospital.

That set the stage for Duffey, whose only playing time came in a 77-0 romp over FCS Lamar.

“We didn’t break it down because it was a blowout, but I did peek at that on Tuesday,” said WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. “I saw he could run. I thought with the designed runs we did good, but the scrambling really got us.”

Duffey evaded West Virginia tacklers for a game-high 86 yards on 15 carries, including a highlight-reel 27-yard gain on fourth-and-9 that kept the Red Raiders alive early in the fourth quarter. Duffey evaded three Mountaineers in the backfield, then dodged more tackles before finally being forced out of bounds at the 10.

“Every time he scrambled, it hurt us,” said WVU defensive end Reese Donahue. “We knew he was a running quarterback. We knew he was going to tuck it. But we could have been more prepared.”

The Mountaineers had a better grasp of Duffey in the passing game, intercepting him twice.

As Holgorsen noted, preparation was difficult. Duffey actually entered the year as Texas Tech’s third-stringer. He only got promoted to No. 2 when starter McLane Carter was knocked out of the season opener against Ole Miss.

“We knew he could run around. We just didn’t have a whole lot of information on him,” Holgorsen said. “It’s difficult. I was impressed with him. He went in a difficult situation and made some good plays, which is not surprising based on Kliff [Kingsbury] doing a good job of coaching whoever the dang quarterback is.”