It has taken a couple days for WVU fans to come down from the high of beating the Longhorns. Now it is time to focus on the next Big XII road test, this weekend in Lubbock, TX. The Mountaineers will need to put in a focused effort to take down the Red Raiders. Texas Tech has one of the top defenses in the country and will be amped up to have the opportunity to take down a top 5 team at home. Last week in Austin, WVU proved that they are more than capable of performing well in front of a very rowdy home crowd, even if they play Jump Around a million freaking times.
Let’s take a look at who the HailWV staff believes will bring the pain to Texas Tech.
The Mountaineers had arguably the best offensive performance of the season against Texas. No they did not light up the scoreboard like they did against Baylor, but it was easily the most balanced performance in recent memory. Combining Geno’s potent air rad attack with a complimentary ground threat from Buie makes the WVU offense impossible to stop.
Glad I’m not playing defense for Texas Tech. If you load up the box to stop Buie, Geno will torch you. Only rush three and Buie can gut you on the draw. It has to be frustrating for defenses to game plan for. The Red Raiders come into the game ranked 2nd in total defense and only allow 86.3 rushing yards per game.
This is where the WVU running game comes in. I like the Mountaineers to keep their rushing momentum and run it down TTU’s throat. I’m looking for Buie to carry the ball 20 times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Also look for Dustin Garrison to get an increased work load this week. I like Garrison to carry 8 times for 25 yards and haul in 2 catches for 15 yards. Nothing major, but an uptick in production and a step closer to regaining his freshman form.
Overall, I think Texas Tech’s defense causes the Mountaineers fits early on. Geno settles the offense into rhythm in the second quarter and the Mountaineers pull away in the second half. WVU wins 48 -27.
If “trap game” was in the dictionary, it’d list this Saturday’s matchup in Lubbock between WVU and Texas Tech as the prime example. WVU is coming off two emotional wins, including one of the biggest road victories in school victory, and has a top 5 primetime matchup with Kansas State looming next Saturday night in Morgantown. Add to that the fact that Texas Tech has a very highly ranked defense (that did just give up 41 points to Oklahoma, but only 380 yards), and this could be a recipe for disaster. And, if you use our recent history as an example, this would be a typical game in which we struggle.
All that being said, I don’t think Holgorsen or Geno lets it happen. We had our hiccup game against Maryland, and that should help the team keep their focus this week. And no one in the country (except for maybe the Crimson Tide) has a defense that can consistently slow our offense down. As we showed last week against Texas, we can beat teams on the ground and in the air.
Coming off of the great run performance against Texas, I expect Texas Tech to pay extra attention to our running game this weekend. No problem though. We’ll take what the defense gives us and move the ball through the air. In the passing game, Bailey and Austin will get most of the attention from the TT secondary, allowing JD Woods to get open. I think he’ll have a big game and finish up with 8 receptions for 120 yards and 2 TDs.
The defense will continue to improve but will still give up some yards and points, but not enough for Tech to pull the upset. WVU comes out on top, 45-34.
My bold prediction? That I wont have heart palpitations for the first time in Big XII play.
Trap game be damned. If Holgo doesn’t believe it then neither do I (I take another sip from my Red Bull and vodka). Screw Texas Tech; I think we come out firing and put these folks in their place for firing the Godfather, Leach. I am thinking 54-34.
Tech will try to make us run similar to UT based on their defensive scheme, but they don’t have a defensive line consisting of freaks like Jeffcoat, so expect Geno to throw for over 350, Austin and Steddy to both bust over 150, AND Buie or perhaps Alston to combine for about 135 or so.
Finally, I predict that the showdown in Motown between the Eers and Kansas State will be a 4 vs 5 matchup next weekend; either the fighting Muschamps or Visor head are going down this weekend.
Much like the Texas game this week, the Mountaineers head back to the Lone Star state to take on another Big 12 foe. WVU has played Texas Tech only once in the history of the program, with that game resulting in a 7-6 victory for West Virginia. I have a feeling that score will be surpassed within the first three minutes of the ball game.
Texas Tech garnered praise early in the season for their defensive efforts, although I think it is safe to say the Iowa State Cyclones have the best D in this league. In their past seven games versus ranked teams, Tech has given up and average of 48.8 points, having lost all but one of those contests.
As of Saturday afternoon, none of the aforementioned will matter. I think Holgs does a better job of keeping these ‘eers keyed on the task at hand so I do not want to call it a trap game, even if Kansas State awaits them the following weekend. The entire scene is new, and I believe WVU stays firmly planted in the present.
We will see a balanced effort on the offensive side of the ball. Yes folks, I do not believe we will witness any video game stats from Geno & Co. this weekend; however, I do think the defense will rise to the occassion. Tech’s Quarterback was clearly off his rocker last week against Oklahoma. I look for the DeForest and Patterson to pinpoint just what caused Tech’s Doege to twitch. He threw a career high-tying three picks last weekend. Look for Garvin and Francis to blitz hard and often. I would not be surprised to see Joseph or Rigg bring pressure from the middle as well.
Prediction: Rigg: 1 sack; 8 tackles; 2 TFL
Francis: 2 sacks; 6 tackles; 1 QBH