Let’s be honest, we really don’t know much about the 2020 Mountaineer Football team so far. They are currently sitting with three wins, two of which are against Eastern Kentucky and Kansas, two automatic wins on anyone’s schedule. Their only notable win so far was against Baylor, who is breaking in a first-time head coach in Dave Aranda. Even then, they narrowly escaped the Bears, 27-21, in double overtime.
The offense has yet to completely come together, despite Leddie Brown being a breakout star in the Big 12 this season. Special teams have been unreliable, but the defense has been literally the best in the nation. There are just so many moving parts on this team right now, it is hard to get a complete grasp on them.
When the Mountaineers travel to Lubbock this Saturday, however, that will tell the tale of this football team. The Red Raiders are currently sitting with a 1-3 record, but could easily be at .500 if they had not blown a fourth quarter lead to the Texas Longhorns. They will be breaking in a new quarterback in Henry Colombi, and the team is capable of going off offensively at any moment. Although the Mountaineers have had early success on defense, they must be on their toes in this matchup.
Offensively, West Virginia must begin to gel together against Texas Tech. Yes, the Mountaineers are a better team right now, but the 38-17 beating they took from Texas Tech last year was a product of struggling offensively against the wrong team at the wrong time. This matchup feels like it could be capable of the same, and Jarret Doege must provide a spark for the offense against his old favorite team.
While this game will likely not have must sway in the Big 12 race, this will likely be the most important game of WVU’s season. Should they win, they will be sitting at 4-1 and likely in the top 25 with nationally ranked Kansas State coming to town. If they lose, they will be 3-2 and hoping to avoid the same fate as the 2019 squad – an extended losing streak.
The matchup against Texas Tech will be huge for the team’s confidence and national perception. Every game is a “must win” game, but this one just feels more important than usual. Neal Brown and company must go to Lubbock, Texas ready to play ball, or they may already be looking ahead to 2021 as the year they can make some noise.