Talk about crashing back to earth. A week after beating Texas in Austin and two weeks removed from putting 70 points up on Baylor, West Virginia received a giant dose of reality in their second road trip in as many weeks in getting steamrolled by Texas Tech, 49-14.
That score would have been considered some kind of joke if you had thrown out the prediction Saturday morning. Even though the odds makers thought it would be close (West Virginia was just a three point favorite coming in), no one saw the onslaught coming that Saturday's game turned into.
Maybe the most surprising thing about the game was that it wasn't a mountain of self inflicted mistakes that did in the Mountaineers. They didn't turn the ball over all afternoon and were called for only two penalties. In fact, West Virginia was +2 in turnover margin and still lost by 35 points.
West Virginia's defense simply couldn't slow down a Texas Tech offense that was rolling from the get-go. And for the first time, the Mountaineers offense wasn't there to pick up the slack.
"They were the better team today. They outplayed us. They outcoached us. They were better on all three sides of the ball. That happens in football," was how Dana Holgorsen summed it up after the game.
A lot of talk about this will surely focus on what West Virginia didn't do on Saturday, but how about giving Texas Tech a little bit of credit.
If you didn't know anything about either one of these teams coming in, you would have left Saturday's game thinking it was obvious who the better football team was. And who knows, just because the Mountaineers came in with all the hype, maybe the better football team did win, and I'm not talking about just this one day.
As it looks now, this was West Virginia's first true test of the season. Say what you will about the Texas win last week, but after the way the Longhorns were undressed by Oklahoma on Saturday, that three point win doesn't look quite as impressive all of a sudden. The same goes for the seven point win over Baylor who just lost to TCU by 25 on their home field.
The simple fact of the matter is, if the Mountaineer defense doesn't make some major improvements, this won't be the last time something like this happens. Maybe it won't happen like it did on Saturday, but it will happen again.
Texas Tech knows all about it. They spent the first two seasons under Tommy Tuberville getting gashed on defense about ever way imaginable. Tuberville knew it needed to be fixed and changed defensive coordinators, yet again, and picked up a few junior college recruits to help fill the voids. Finally in year number three, it looks like they've finally cracked the code into building a defense that has some teeth.
West Virginia is still searching for that code under first year defensive coordinator, Joe DeForest. "I don't know what else to say other than we've got to go back to the drawing board," DeForest said after his defense gave up 40+ points for the third time this season. "We're not going to give up on what we've been building on. We've got to continue to build on some positive things."
Seth Doege was on fire Saturday. A week after throwing three picks against Oklahoma, the senior completed 32 of 42 passes for 499 yards and count them, six touchdowns. Texas Tech also averaged 5.8 yards per carry in rushing for 168 yards, numbers that were helped by SaDale Foster's back-breaking 53 yard touchdown run just before the half that gave Tech a commanding 35-7 lead.
"When you don't have a pass-rush, it's a lot easier to sit back there and take your time going through your reads. Identifying safeties and what the defense is trying to do," Doege said of the protection his offensive line provided. (Note to future Texas Tech opponents: try putting some pressure on Doege).
In the aftermath, West Virginia's coaches and players were more or less at a loss for words. Geno Smith was asked what Tech did differently versus what he's seen from their other opponents. "That's a stupid question. Next question."
West Virginia quarterback coach Jake Spavital seemed to insinuate the Mountaineers essentially threw in the towel. "It seemed like a giant snowball that kept piling up and piling up and piling up until it got to be pretty deflating and we pretty much called it quits."
That's probably not exactly the way you hope your teams responds to a little bit of adversity.
So where do these two teams go from here?
For Texas Tech, they'll try and avoid the letdown that followed their upset win in Norman last year.
The week following their huge win over OU, Tech came out and got blasted 41-7 on their home field by Iowa State which led to four more losses to end the season.
There's still plenty of football yet to be played, but this Red Raider team looks to be nothing like last year's version - which is a good thing for Tech fans - but they still can't afford a letdown with two tough road trips to TCU and Kansas State ahead.
For West Virginia, they'll be back in the friendly confines of Morgantown after two weeks on the road. The only problem is they have Kansas State coming in which will provide an entirely different challenge.
Say what you will about all the spread offenses in the Big 12, but they won't have seen (or will see) an offense like the one that is coming to town on Saturday.
That could be a good thing, but then again, slowing down KSU's offense isn't much easier than slowing down Tech's even though you have to go about it an entirely different way.
If the Mountaineers can find a way to get by Kansas State, then the Big 12 race becomes a whole lot more interesting than it already is. Behind the 3-0 Wildcats are four teams sitting at 2-1 which include both Texas Tech and West Virginia.
I don't know exactly what they are, but it's probably a good idea to start brushing up on the Big 12's tiebreaker rules.
What Saturday taught us is something most college football fans already know, expect the unexpected. Texas loses by 45, West Virginia loses by 35, Kansas nearly comes back to beat Oklahoma State, and TCU does have an offense even without Casey Pachall running the show.
What's going to happen next week? Who knows, but I'm guessing we'll all be there to find out.