But then WVU's next five possessions all resulted in scores. There were field goals of 33 and 30 yards by Josh Lambert, touchdown runs of 38 and 12 yards by Dreamius Smith and Trickett's 4-yard scoring pass to Sims.
Those five scores erased a 13-0 lead Tech had built up at the start. The most significant play, though, was probably by the defense. Darwin Cook and Isaiah Bruce leveled Red Raider freshman quarterback Davis Webb and forced a fumble as Webb was approaching the end zone for a touchdown that would have given Tech a 20-3 lead. Bruce recovered it, and WVU marched 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
And when Tech's Austin Stewart fumbled the ensuing kickoff, a Lambert field goal made the halftime score 13-all instead of the 20-3 deficit it could have been.
When West Virginia then began the second half with touchdown drives of 74 and 72 yards, things could not have been much better. The Mountaineers had that 27-16 lead and there seemed no way they wouldn't be able to add more points.
And then they didn't.
"We froze up,'' offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. "When things got tough, we didn't have guys make plays.''
But Tech certainly did. Behind Webb and tight end Jace Amaro the Red Raiders drove 80, 84 and 69 yards on three of their final five possessions. Kenny Williams' two 1-yard touchdown runs gave the Red Raiders the lead and then Amaro - who finished with nine catches for 136 yards - added another score on a 10-yard reception with 61 seconds to play to provide the final margin.
That West Virginia's offense went completely cold was, of course, not the only factor in Tech's fourth-quarter rally. While WVU's defense played well much of the day, it still allowed 573 yards and 37 points. And it couldn't get off the field on the most crucial third downs of the game. Tech converted nine of 15 third downs.
"When you get somebody down like that, you've got to be like sharks in a tank and finish them,'' defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "We didn't finish.''
Trickett, who wasn't even named the starter until game time, wasn't always accurate but he managed to complete 27 of 43 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown. The Mountaineers also got a combined 166 rushing yards from Smith (89) and Sims (77).
Texas Tech started true freshman Webb for the second straight game in relief of injured freshman Baker Mayfield, and Webb was 36 of 50 for 462 yards and a touchdown. The Red Raiders managed to outgain WVU 573-437. In the fourth quarter, when it mattered most, Tech's yardage advantage was 164-29.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.