The team has an underrated group of offensive skill players and a defense that sits third in the Big 12 in points and yardage allowed a year after quietly ranking second in the same categories.
THIS SATURDAY: It seems the Mountaineers only recently joined the Big 12, but they already are making their third long trip to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Mixon had a pair of 100-yard games before that. Mahomes threw for 504 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for three scores during a 44-38 loss to Kansas State last week. “They’re good at extending plays, extending drives”. Like I talked about year in, year out when we play them, schematically they do a great job trying to take away what you’re good at and it will be a big challenge. Skyler Howard should also be able to find some open receivers consistently, but playing off the run game will keep the ball and the clock moving. “But they like to mix it up, a year ago they ran half of the time”.
The Red Raiders (8-4-2, 1-3-0) will look to bounce back after a tough weekend last week.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Mahomes appeared to be bothered again by his injured shoulder late in that contest but doesn’t expect that to be a factor on Saturday. “It should be fun”. Excited about the 11 a.m. kick.
“We have all been down this road before”.
That wasn’t the case the last time the Old Gold and Blue entered Jones AT&T Stadium. Kingsbury will throw it, throw it, and throw it some more, and his Red Raider aerial attack leads the country this week by averaging 544 yards per game. Which would put us right back in the mix. That’s not going to be enough on Saturday.
“I haven’t found it yet”, Gibson said. “He’s going to get those guys ready to go and we have our work cut out for us on defense“. “They kind of manned us up and told us to go at them”.
“They are both going to play and they are both going to play a lot”, Seider explained. “The only thing I would change is that I would get Kennedy (McCoy) more carries”.
Stopping the Mountaineers on the ground means stopping WVU’s two-headed monster of senior Rushel Shell and junior college transfer Justin Crawford.
The Mountaineers’ pass rush appeared somewhat slow in its first two games of the year, but against BYU and Kansas State the unit has been much more effective at generating pressure. “Offensively, we haven’t put up numbers we’d like to, but we have to this week or we will not win the game“. “They have for a long time, back when I was fortunate to be a part of this program for nearly 10 years”, Holgorsen said.
The Red Raiders’ production drop-off (35.7 points and 529.9 yards) in their last nine road/neutral site games was evident in their last game.
“It’s not really a secret what they do but it’s unique because Mahomes is so good at keeping plays alive”, head coach Dana Holgorsen said.
Who’s paying attention to West Virginia? They’re No. 2 nationally in points and yards per game and No. 1 in passing yards per game.
“In a flawless world that (running the ball) is what you want to do”, added Holgorsen. “But one thing we understand is that scoring 17 points the next eight weeks is not going to get it done”. “You’ve got to look at what the defense is giving you and be prepared to make adjustments even in-game”.
West Virginia can improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2012, with home games still ahead against league powers Oklahoma and Baylor. Last weekend, WVU took down Kansas, 1-0, and Iowa State, 2-0, both on the road, to remain undefeated in Big 12 play.