Texas Tech has been a team that we seem to underestimate every year. Whether they are projected to be less talented than we are or have shown as such by the time we play in the season, there has often been a reason for looking past this game. Except-we can’t seem to win it. Sure, we did several times with Dana Holgorsen, even without the star lineups he seemed to put together. Unfortunately, Neal Brown hasn’t figured out the formula. Before another post goes into how we get through this game with a win, let’s look at why Tech has been so successful against the Mountaineers since 2019.
Here are some important factors contributing to Red Raider successes:
In the last season, Tech went 8-5 and averaged just over 84 offensive plays a game. Compared to the rest of college footballs’ average of roughly 67 plays, that’s a lot of production. Everything is fast paced and rushed to the line to get the next ball out. Historically, WVU has struggled against this kind of attack and fortunately apart from some flashes where Oklahoma State wanted to run a quicker game, this isn’t typical of the Big 12 style of offense. It’s the identity of the Red Raiders. In 2022 we were assassinated in Lubbock by a relentless offensive attack. TTU would run 100 plays to our 62.
Airing It Out
Let’s not avoid the discussion, the secondary these past few years has been bad bad. Now, it seems there are some quality backs in play at corner and safety that can at least keep things competitive. Last year, Tech threw for 355 yards. They exploited an area our defense was weak and drove up the score. Soft coverage is not possible on a team willing to take endless short yardage gains to move the ball.
The Secret Weapon
The biggest part of the Red Raider success last year was us. We were coming off a nice win against Baylor in a tough home game and had TCU coming to Morgantown the following weekend. For whatever reason we did not give this game the attention it deserved. We threw three interceptions, fumbled the ball, gave up more than 250 yards rushing, and could not stop the pass attack.
Texas Tech might have gotten pre-season hype and near AP Poll recognition, and this might be the hardest TTU squad Brown has faced in his years here, but the game is not impossible to win. It’s not unlikely to win. It’s a matter of playing to our team’s strengths and exploiting where they are vulnerable. More on that soon.
Photo Credit: USA Today