Nationals

Texas Tech stuns No. 5 West Virginia 49-14

201210131654608645069-p2.jpeg

Texas Tech stuns No. 5 West Virginia 49-14

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) The matchup between Texas Tech and No. 5 West Virginia featured a quarterback who put up cartoonish numbers, throwing for six touchdowns and 499 yards.

And that quarterback's name was Seth Doege.

Doege led Texas Tech's offense while the Red Raiders' defense shut down Heisman Trophy hopeful Geno Smith, upsetting the Mountaineers 49-14 on Saturday.

Red Raider fans stormed the field after the win, the most lopsided Texas Tech victory ever over a team ranked in the top five.

Smith completed 29 of 55 passes for 275 yards but couldn't get the ball in the end zone.

The Red Raiders offense had no such trouble.

``When you don't have a pass rush it's a lot easier to make your reads,'' said Doege, who threw TD passes of 39, 19, 16, 2, 29 and 7 yards. He completed 32 of 42 passes and the six touchdowns matched his career-high. Darrin Moore caught three TD passes, which tied his career-high.

Texas Tech (5-1, 2-1) had 18 plays of 15 yards or more, including a 61-yard pass to Jace Amaro and a 53-yard touchdown run by SaDale Foster.

Amaro finished with five receptions for 156 yards.

The Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1) last week converted all five fourth-down tries in their 48-45 win at Texas, but against the Red Raiders they made just one of six.

``Those guys did a great job of just attacking us,'' Smith said. ``They attacked us the entire game.''

Doege had one interception, an improvement over the five he'd thrown in the previous two games.

``He came out and played loose and he was on-point today,'' Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said.

The win for Texas Tech was the second over a top 10 team in as many seasons. The Red Raiders beat then-No. 3 Oklahoma 41-38 to break the Sooners' 39-game win streak in Norman.

On seven first-half possessions the Red Raiders scored touchdowns on five. Texas Tech wasn't as efficient in the second half but by then they were so far ahead it didn't matter.

Doege said his protection was key.

``It's huge for a quarterback to sit back there,'' Doege said. ``We had a lot of opportunities to get the ball downfield, and if they play the way they played today, it's just going to continue and we're going to make plays. We have so many weapons that we can expose at any time.''

Known as a passer, Doege even ran for a first down on fourth-and 3 near the end of a drive that led to a 14-0 lead for the Red Raiders.

``I about fell out when he ran the ball, and he made a couple of first downs,'' Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. ``He's hard-nosed.''

The Mountaineers fell short of their scoring average (52) by 38 points and got just one touchdown in the second half. Even that came when the game was already out of reach. Dustin Garrison scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 49-14.

The Mountaineers had the third-worst pass defense coming into the game (336 yards) and didn't do anything to improve on that.

``It was a poor performance defensively ... and it's just a team loss,'' Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said. ``They outplayed us. They outcoached us. On all three sides of the ball they did better than we did.''

The Red Raiders, meanwhile, started fast and kept the Mountaineers off balance. By the time it was all over, they had 168 rushing yards on 29 carries and passed the ball 43 times.

Doege said the game showed how well the Red Raiders can play and how much a good defense can help.

``It's totally different from last year,'' Doege said who last season saw the Red Raiders defense finish near the bottom of the nation in several categories then. ``If we got down or whatever the case may be, we might have pressed a little bit. But we know that our defense is playing at a high level right now, and I was just blown away by their performance today.''

After the Mountaineers failed to convert on fourth-and-3 deep in Texas Tech territory, Doege needed just three plays to get his third touchdown of the game. The senior quarterback first connected with Amaro on a short pass along the near sideline and the receiver turned it into a 61-yard gain - Texas Tech's longest play from scrimmage this season - to the Mountaineers 21.

Two plays later, Doege hit Marcus Kennard for 16-yard touchdown pass to put the Red Raiders up 21-7.

Texas Tech's offense already was in rhythm by then, going up 14-0 in the first quarter. Doege hit a wide-open Amaro over the middle at about the 20-yard line and he ran it in for a 39-yard touchdown on the Red Raiders first possession.

Doege then found Eric Ward on a fade route on the far corner of the end zone to put Texas Tech ahead 14-0.

The Mountaineers answered, momentarily. Smith started with a short field after the Red Raiders squibbed the kickoff. Five plays later Stedman Bailey dived to pull in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Smith and pull West Virginia within 14-7. The drive included a 38-yard pass from Smith to Tavon Austin.

Quick Links

Stephen Strasburg makes history at the plate against Atlanta

stephen_strasburg_nationals_pitching_usat.jpg
USA Today

Stephen Strasburg makes history at the plate against Atlanta

Stephen Strasburg had the best hitting performance of his career against the Braves Thursday night, going 3-3 at the plate with two singles and a 420-foot three-run bomb. 

He didn't just set personal records but reached rare air in baseball history. He's the second pitcher ever with at least three hits, a HR, and five RBI since the DH debuted in 1973 and the fifth pitcher in the last 50 seasons to get two hits in an inning including a home run. 

Strasburg set franchise firsts with his performance, dating all the way back to the Expos. 

An extraordinary milestone for the Nationals' ace, hopefully Strasburg's performance will inspire the team during a crucial four-game series with Atlanta. 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

‘The Redskins love Alabama guys’: Washington could run old draft playbook in 2020 to fill huge need

jerry-jeudy-henry-ruggs-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

‘The Redskins love Alabama guys’: Washington could run old draft playbook in 2020 to fill huge need

Perhaps no position group on the Redskins has more questions or uncertainty than the wide receivers.

Josh Doctson enters the final year of his rookie contract, and has yet to record over 550 yards in any of his three professional seasons. Washington signed Paul Richardson to a five-year deal in 2018, but he just played in just seven games for the Burgundy and Gold in 2018 before having season-ending shoulder surgery. Second-year receiver Trey Quinn is expected to fill the role in the slot after Jamison Crowder departed for the New York Jets this offseason but has yet to prove anything on the NFL level. 

The Redskins addressed the position during the 2019 NFL Draft, selecting Terry McLaurin in the third round and Kelvin Harmon in the sixth round. But it's unclear how much either one will contribute to the Washington offense in 2019.

So, it's likely the Redskins will need to address the position during the 2020 NFL Draft, and probably very early on it. Well, this works in Washington's favor, because the 2020 wide receiver class is loaded. 

On a recent episode of the Redskins Talk podcast, J.P. Finlay and Pete Hailey spoke with NFL Draft expert Jordan Reid (no, not the Redskins' tight end) about the top wide receiver prospects heading into next year's draft, and which players the Redskins could potentially target.

Before diving into the top 2020 prospects, Reid gave an initial assessment of the current Redskins' receivers.

"The Redskins just don't have that headliner, top go-to guy," Reid said. "They were expecting Josh Doctson to be that when they did draft him in the first round of 2016. But he's had some injuries, and he's already come out and said he's looking forward to free agency. That just not something you want to hear."

Reid was high on McLaurin, though, the first receiver the Redskins selected in 2019.

"They drafted Terry McLaurin in the third round, I liked him a lot even going back to the Senior Bowl," he said. "I think he's going to have a really good year, not just as a receiver but the special teams phase as well. He's going to flash in a lot of ways."

As far as the 2020 draft wide receiver class, one school stands on top, and it's a school the Redskins are very familiar with: Alabama. The Redskins used their first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 on 'Bama guys and signed another Crimson Tide alumni this offseason in safety Landon Collins.

"We know the Redskins love Alabama guys, and there's a lot of [wide receivers] coming out this year," Reid said. "It's not just Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs is another guy that's getting a lot of steam. They're going to have the chance to get the receiver they want. This is a very special wide receiver class."

Crimson Tide receiver Jerry Jeudy is the consensus top receiver in next year's class, but Reid believes his speedy teammate could challenge him for that spot by season's end.

"With Ruggs, I think he's a bit more as far as polished a route runner [than Jeudy]," he said. "I think his hands are a bit better, and I wouldn't be shocked if he runs below a 4.3 at the combine. He can absolutely fly."

If the pair of Alabama receivers currently hold the top two spots for best wide receiver prospect, there's another guy who's right on their heels: Oklahoma's Ceedee Lamb.

"He reminds me a lot of DeAndre Hopkins coming out," Reid said on Lamb. "He's not a thick guy, but he plays much stronger than what he indicates. Very reliable hands, and his body control is out of this world. He had a one-handed catch against UCLA, it didn't count, but it's truly amazing."

As a true sophomore, Lamb totaled 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018. Sure, it may have helped to have Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray under center, but Lamb has proven he's an elite talent.

Two other prospects Reid is keeping an eye on are Colorado's Laviska Shenault Jr. and Texas' Collin Johnson.

"He's not as polished as some of these other guys, but he's more of a do-it-all type of receiver," Reid said on Shenault Jr. 

Where Shenault may be a do-it-all receiver, Johnson plays to his 6'6 size.

"He's a really good route runner," Reid said on Johnson. "It's just a matter of how consistently can he separate, and how fast he is. If he goes to the Senior Bowl, I think he can light it up."

While many of these guys seem like sure-fire guys, there's still a full season of football to be played before the draft. Players will rise, but just as many, if not more, will fall off.

"You just have to let this play out, that's what happens with the draft process," Reid said. "Guys fall off, and then you have guys that come out of nowhere. Quinton Williams from last year is a prime example. He was a 270-pound defensive end at this time last year; we had no idea who he was and he ends up being the No. 3 overall selection."

But if everything plays out close to how it's expected to, this wide receiver draft class will be one to remember. 

"This class is special man," Reid said. "I think it's going to rival 2014, with Odell Beckham Jr., Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and all those guys, Jarvis Landry, Davante Adams too. It's going to be very similar to that. It's very special."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: