MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - All week long, West Virginia's coaches and players spoke of the need to make sure that Jace Amaro didn't beat them when the Mountaineers played Texas Tech.
Saying it and doing it just aren't the same, however.
Amaro, Tech's ultra-talented junior tight end, caught nine passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 16 Red Raiders beat West Virginia 37-27 Saturday at Mountaineer Field.
That came a year after Amaro had caught five passes for 156 yards before leaving the game with an injured knee that would keep him out the second half of the season.
If the injury Amaro suffered against the Mountaineers last season affected him at all, it doesn't show. He's even better now than he was then.
"We can't cover him,'' WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "And even when you do cover him he still makes plays.''
West Virginia tried it both ways Saturday - covering and not covering him. Amaro's first of two touchdown receptions came in the first quarter when he split tight coverage at the line, a miscommunication left him open in the end zone and he caught a 10-yard pass from freshman Davis Webb.
And then there were the other times, like on Tech's fourth-quarter drive to take the lead when he caught a pass in tight coverage, bounced off one tackler and then fairly dragged linebacker Tyler Anderson the last 10 yards of a 37-yard gain.
"He said to put it on his shoulders in the second half,'' Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "When [WVU] went up by 11 [27-16], the ball went to him and he kept making plays.''
To kick or not to kick