Leading up to Saturday's contest with Texas Tech, West Virginia's offensive personnel stated over and over that they would have to score a lot of points and rack up a ton of yards in order to beat the Red Raiders. It's safe to say that the Mountaineers stayed true to their word after shredding Texas Tech's defense through the air and on the ground this afternoon and Veteran center Tyler Orlosky discussed the emphasis that West Virginia placed on putting the ball in the end zone.
"From an offensive standpoint we knew we had to score points," Orlosky said. "We were happy with it and it's something we knew we could do but I can't say enough about our defense holding them to 17 points."
Aside from scoring 48 points, the offense racked up 650 yards with 332 coming on the ground and 318 through the air. Orlosky has been in the program for five years and has seen the personnel dictate the offensive philosophy the Mountaineers, but now in his senior year, it appears all the pieces are in place to have a truly balanced attack on the offensive end.
"I think we have come a long way from being a pass only team to being a very balanced team," Orlosky said. "I thought we did a really good job of getting movement and I said earlier in the week that running the ball would be the key to the game."
The Mountaineers were extremely successful running the ball as Rushel Shell went over 100 yards for the first time this season and Skyler Howard ripped off several quality runs. That success in turn helped West Virginia in the red zone, where it finished the day 8-of-8 with six touchdowns and two field goals.
"We did a good job even though we had some penalties down there," Orlosky said. "Those are things we have to limit and we shot ourselves in the foot with some of those but overall I think we did a lot better than we had done in the past in the red zone."
One of the other senior members of the offense, Daikiel Shorts, echoed Orlosky's comments and credited the running game for opening up the passing attack.
"It was very key to run the ball well and get those safeties up in the box," Shorts said. "We try to make the plays once they come to us and we did a pretty good job of that."
Shorts has been one of West Virginia's most consistent weapons and is somewhat underrated because he's not the big play threat that Shelton Gibson or Jovon Durante is, but the senior wideout reached 100 yards on just three catches today, marking his second 100 yard game of the season. Shorts discussed the offense as a whole and how relieving it was for the unit to finally breakout and have a big performance.
"We have been practicing hard and getting on each other about gelling and putting some points on the board," Shorts said. "We knew we were going to have to score a lot of points against Texas Tech and we did a pretty good job."
If the Mountaineers can continue to set up the pass with a strong running game then Shorts should continue to pile up 100 yard receiving efforts. The Mountaineers offense won't get much time off though, as it must again prepare for one of the top offensive teams in the league in TCU.null