Texas Tech nearly rallied to beat West Virginia on Saturday. But based on what one ESPN writer said, you'd think no one was at The Jones to see it.

Trotter, who was following the ESPN-carried game between the Red Raiders and the Mountaineers, pointed out that what was at one point considered a done deal for West Virginia was anything but.

Texas Tech's defense prevented the Mountaineers from scoring in the entire 2nd half of the game -- the same thing they did in an upset win against Oklahoma State earlier this season. On offense, quarterback Jett Duffey, who replaced an injured Alan Bowman, added some electricity to the Red Raiders. More importantly, he helped close the score gap.

West Virginia won 42-34 after a Duffey interception put the kibosh on the Red Raiders' 2nd-half rally. But it was a win the Mountaineers had to fight for.

Trotter praised the Texas Tech football team for a never-say-die attitude that kept them in the game until the very end. But in the same breath, he also criticized "a good chunk of Tech fans" for leaving the game before it was over.

Let's take a look at the stadium at around 11 a.m., courtesy of 1340 The Fan photographer Paul Roberts:

Fans at Texas Tech vs West Virginia game
Paul Roberts, 1340TheFan.com

The Jones was packed. In fact, according to the Texas Tech Athletic Department, the West Virginia game garnered the largest crowd of the 2018 season (to date): 55,283. Here's another shot at the crowd:

Fans at Texas Tech vs West Virginia game
Paul Roberts, 1340TheFan.com

So, was Jones AT&T Stadium actually a ghost town toward the end of the game? You be the judge. Check out these highlights from the game from the 3rd and 4th quarters:

You can clearly see that some of the student sections had thinned out considerably. Here are more shots from our photographer showing the stands during the 2nd half:

Empty stands at Texas Tech-West Virginia game

As someone who was on the field during the game and felt the excitement -- and booming chants -- of the crowd in an electric 2nd half, I can say the fans that did stay were loud as hell and fighting with the Red Raiders every single play. If the stadium was as empty as some of these shots would lead you to believe, there's no way it also could have been as loud as it was.

Texas Tech fans regularly get a bad rap -- whether it's because of weird stuff thrown on the field (and that's not counting the tortilla tossing), controversial signs posted on frat social media pages or profanity-laden chants. But a few bad apples don't represent the bunch. And you can't fault an entire fanbase for the actions of the few -- especially when it comes to leaving games early, which is not a problem that's exclusive to Lubbock and far from the worst thing fans could do.

It happens in Lubbock, yes. But it's also happened in Alabama. And in Death Valley. And in South Carolina. And in the NFL.

The majority of Texas Tech fans are like any other college football fanbase: they love their team, and want them to win, period. When a game isn't going well, some fans do leave. That's not an excuse; it's reality. Fans left the Lamar game for the opposite reason: they were getting bored of watching the Red Raiders beat down a near-defenseless team. Even one Texas Tech player felt like it was a game that shouldn't have been on the schedule.

After the West Virginia game, even Texas Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury couldn't muster any criticism toward fans who left The Jones before the game was over. "I would have left, too, if it was that poor of a performance and effort in the first half. I don't blame anyone for leaving," Kingsbury said.

Texas Tech (3-2) faces off against TCU on Thursday, October 11th. Countdown to Kickoff can be heard on 1340 The Fan from 3:30 - 5:30 p,m. that day. You can listen on the air (1340 AM), online via our website or with the free 1340 The Fan app.

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