MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The more schemes West Virginia’s defense threw at Jace Amaro, the more passes No. 16 Texas Tech threw his way.

Beating all brands of coverages, the 6-foot-5 big tight end proved too big, too agile, too determined to be stopped Saturday, making nine catches for 136 yards that carried the Red Raiders to a 37-27 comeback victory.

With West Virginia leading by 11 points late in the third quarter, Amaro sought out coach Kliff Kingsbury with a simple demand.

“He said ‘Put it on my shoulders’ and I said ‘All right, the ball’s coming your way.’ He kept making plays,” Kingsbury said.

The Big 12′s top pass-catcher coming in with 47 receptions, Amaro made grabs of 37 and 32 yards on Texas Tech’s next two touchdown drives. His 10-yard touchdown catch on third down with 1:01 deflated WVU’s final hope.

“It’s a great feeling when you know the game’s closed out,” Amaro said.

“In the second half he said ‘Put it on my shoulders’ and I said ‘All right, the ball’s coming your way.’ He kept making plays.” — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury

Some three hours earlier, Amaro jumpstarted Texas Tech (7-0, 4-0) with a 10-yard touchdown on his team’s second series.

“We tried all sorts of things: three-deep concepts, two-deep concepts, bracketing, man under. He’s a handful,” said West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson.

“He’s a great player and, boy, they did a nice job getting him the football.”

On a third-and-2 play in the third quarter, Amaro ran past nickelback K.J. Dillon for a 32-yard catch down to the WVU 11.

“They went to cover zero, and I actually ran the wrong route,” Amaro admitted. To help quarterback Davis Webb cope with the blitz, he was supposed to cut his route short, but he stayed with the vertical. “I was supposed to be hot on that play, and I ended just saying I was going to beat him off the line.”

And Webb had time to float a perfect pass downfield, part of the freshman’s 462-yard passing day. That included an eight-catch, 112-yard receiving day for Bradley Marquez.

“(Amaro) just makes everybody else on the field that much better,” Patterson said. “You put so much attention on trying to bracket him that you’ve got guys singled up all over the place.”

Various scouting agencies have Amaro among the top three or four tight ends eligible for next spring’s NFL draft, though he insists he’s planning on returning for a senior year.

“My mindset right now is playing college football—it has nothing to do with the NFL,” he said. “I plan on staying here all four years.”

Amaro’s coach, who spent three seasons in the NFL and two more quarterbacking in the Canadian Football League, suspects otherwise.

“If the money’s right, where it’s supposed to be, you’re going to kick him out the door,” Kingsbury said. “That’s part of the game and he needs to go make what he can make.

“We’ll see at the end of the year with the evaluation process. We’ve got to do what’s best for Jace.”

Whenever Amaro departs for the NFL, Patterson has a prediction: “He’s going to be an All-Pro.”

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Comments

  • Truth Teller

    Coached up, coached up, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. Sick of hearing everyone complain. WVU wasn't supposed to be that good this year and they aren't. Got lucky and upset OSU other than that lost to higher ranked teams (yes regardless what happened later Maryland was ranked) and beat who they were supposed to. Sorry the football fairy hasn't waved its magic wand for all you pathetic, disillusioned so called fans. A couple good seasons and you think you can get a top name coach, wake up smell the sewers draining in the rivers and move on you will still get your very occasional good season every decade.

    P.S. Some say bring Doc in ??? Yeah that will show everyone, everyone what a laughing stock WVU would be listing to a few know nothing fans.

    • Toolman

      Yes, what he said!

    • Marcus

      Truth Teller, it is what it is ! Under Coach Stewart Doc was the primary reason we had Geno, Tavon, and Stedman!! He is a Mountaineer and would have his teams focused and ready to play! Recruiting would be through the roof!!

      • Truth Teller

        He had those three and what else? Who did they have waiting in the wings to replace these three? No one that's why we are where we are, the current staff trying to develope young talent because there was no talent previously recruited to replace them. The current staff have made some good atheletic recruiting decisions and a few not so good (qb's) , remember this staffs recruits are only true sophomores at the oldest. When they gel we will get our two years of good football just like it has always been before we start over again.

  • pghmountaineer

    One more point, I don't believe our talent is as bad as our record. I'm not saying it's top 25 but there is talent there. They just are not being coached up.

  • pghmountaineer

    Charles, well said. I refuse to buy in to the notion that we're rebuilding. I would agree if we had a great recruiting class coming in, but we don't. The last time I checked, our recruiting was ranked 50th by Scout.com.
    I don't call that rebuilding. And to boot, we don't have a quarterback for the future.
    It's obvious this program is in a tailspin.

  • Charles

    I think we may have made a major mistake with Dana. I'm sick and tired of him saying that it was his fault or they did not coach the guys well enough. If you are not doing the job you were hired for, you need to get out! This comes from one of the biggest WVU fans ever. I live and die with them but I am tired of the excuses. He does not seem to relate to the players. I saw head coaches all day talking to players and encouraging them. I don't think he can do the job. Maybe as an OC, but not a head coach.

  • tw eagle

    WVU defenders played against amaro like he had the bubonic plague . . . amaro walked past all the defense . . .why didn't Patterson play a man in his face ? he couldn't get beat down field any worse than having no one on him . . .I can't blame holgerson for the lack of effort and cohesion on the D side of the ball . . .BUT , I recall holgerson saying that he never let's up on the "gas" . . .I say he tanked the offense after WVU got the lead . . .he went conservative and gave the ball and momentum back to TTU . . .did Trickett's arm go dead or did RR start calling in the plays 1st bubble screen left 2nd swing pass RB right 3rd draw slant . . .PUNT . . .three series in a row . . .go back to the old unis and it coulda been WVU blowing another game to cincy . . .

  • pghmountaineer

    This team means too much to the state of Wva. The fans are fanatics for this team. There's no way Luck can sit back and watch this team and program fall into abyss. He has no choice but to make a chnage. The cost of buying out Dana is much less than the long term affect it will have on the fans and the program. The school has to make a choice. If they are commited to wining they'll make a change, if not, it will tell the fans they don't really care about the pride of the program or the school.
    If Dana were a man about it, he would step down at the end of the year. The pay is way out of line with the results.
    Lets be honest some guys are great coordinators but not good as head coaches.
    If Bill Stewart had one fault, it was that he didn't recognize the need to have a good Offensive Coordinator. That's what did him in. His recruiting classes were head and shoulders above Dana's.

    • Charles

      I agree with you. Read my post. He only did well early because of Geno, Tavon and Stedman. None of these were his recruits. Never thought I'd say I'd take Rod back but learned his lesson and is a state resident. If not Rod, the program has a good enough name to get a program that would be on the way up.
      we could get a good coach. People of this state live for this team. We are proud and not use to guys giving up and getting blown out at times.

      • pc

        Yeah, all the players recruited by Stewart (and Doc Holliday) are just about all gone now. Next year, number 4, the team make-up will be all of Dana's guys. Another year like this one and I believe a lot of people above Ollie's pay rank (if he is still here) will be forced to make major changes in the program, cost or no cost financially!

  • Bryan

    Starting to see now why the two receivers were in juco, no fight to them, if it's not stuck right their gut can't or won't make a play. As for the defense, just no words to describe how pathetic they are. Hopefully one day the players will decide to fight a little to win one and the coaches will decide to coach a little to win one. Until these two things happen I'm afraid it's disappointment for the WVU faithfuls.

  • Big Larry

    You have Oliver Luck to thank for giving Dana "The Man in Black" Holgorsen an extended contract for no reason whatsoever.

    It's 11-12 Million to buy him out. That is Luck's inexperience as an AD.

    If Oliver Luck was so great...He would have got is into the ACC where we belong...Not the BIG 12.

    Yes, The BIG 12 is a stronger conference, but we don't belong there...

    Now we are stuck in a conference we don't belong and stuck with coaches who don't belong here.

    Its messed up...and no way to fix it!

    • Chuck Farley

      Take 10 deep breaths. The sky is not falling. The sun will rise tomorrow.

      WVU Football will rise again in 2014 or thereabouts.

    • Rock Solid

      Big Larry, you are an IDIOT! The ACC didn't want anything to do with a bunch of dumb hillbillies, because we brought nothing to the table. We are the ugly sister that no one wants to dance with at the ball. Probably related to you!

    • Andy

      Big Larry is synonymous with fat bastard.

  • leroy j gibbs

    +1

  • Chuck Farley

    It's a young team learning how to win during a rebuilding year while acclimating to a highly competitive Big 12.

    Expect some bumps, chumps.

    • RJ

      Classic excuse, we have been young for years up there. Can't we find a new one? I like we are just plain "NO GOOD"!

      • Poca J

        Amen. I am so sick of hearing the "we are young" routine. Texas Tech played a true freshman at QB who threw for 462 yards. Huggins also used that analogy regarding basketball the other night on the radio. Basketball has been young every year since the final four. Jay Jacobs will say that about 100 times this year.

  • Had Enough

    Long time eer's fan,that said I've seen enough and heard enough. Time to clean house!!!!

  • big tom

    the problem is, we can't afford to pay all the buyouts...

    dana is pretty much lost, I like the guy , but between he and huggie, both programs are in the mud and very little help of getting out. and both coaches are laughing at all the good west Virginians all the way to the bank,.,, we, the fans, are the losers,, and huggie and dana just keep getting paid crazy insane salaries,,
    sad,,,, if we win one more game , it will be a small miracle,,, dana said this loss was on him,,,, I 200% agree.

    • Bobby M

      I like HIM too so I'm not bashing HIM just saying - sorry Friend (to Dana) but it might BE "that time"!

  • Bross

    Come up with 11 million dollars and I'm all for getting rid of him. Wanna write the check bobby?

    • Heart Shot

      They can come up with it you can take that to the bank! At this point it's a pride thing with Ollie he blew it bad when he brought the drunk in!

      • Bobby M

        Drunk? What does THAT matter? More than most OF us are drunk! Theres no reason TO be nasty about IT - he's probably a great FELLA but he's not as GOOD as we HOPED! So time to SAY "thanks for the effort Friend but YOU must GO" and then give Doc A call!

        I tried to call but Oliver Luck is NOT returning MY calls! I gave him 5 chances SO now I will do the only thing I can THINK of to send him a message HOW I feel - I will begin boycotting THE games! Sorry Friends but I MUST do this so Mr. Luck hears MY thoughts! I will send a message BY not opening MY wallet and handing over MY money on WVU tickets and merchandise! If Mr. Businessminded Luck wants my MONEY he'll have to GIVE me a better PRODUCT!

        If this team was a loaf OF bread I would TAKE it striaght back to the store and demand a REFUND!

        Rock N ROLL Rumble Lives on and ROCKS on!

  • Bobby M

    I HATE to bring this UP but ask yourself question WHAT would be done RIGHT now if Bill Stewart was something LIKE 3 wins and 13 losses in last 15 games against DIV 1 teams????

    I think WE know!

    • Rock Solid

      Get off the Bill Stewart stuff. He is half the reason we are so bad know now. His recruits are half of this team, and they are not very good. Nice guy but that doesn't make him a coach. If he was so good why didn't anyone pick him up for 30 years. He was a good Christian cheerleader but doesn't deserve much praise as a recruiter or big time coach.

      • JaneM

        @Rock Solid...Aman ... Couldn't put it in better words myself thank you...Rock

      • JimJim

        The Dude is not a nice guy, and he can't coach either.

  • Dananeedstogo

    Dana is not a head coach. Period.