West Virginia-Texas Tech Preview Capsule
Ralph B. Davis
The Associated Press
No. 5 West Virginia (5-0) at Texas Tech (4-1), 3:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)
Line: West Virginia by 3½.
Series Record: West Virginia leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Already in the discussion to win the Big 12 in their first year in the conference, the Mountaineers can’t afford to take the game against Texas Tech lightly. Next up for West Virginia after Saturday’s contest in Lubbock is a home game against No. 6 Kansas State that could prove pivotal in deciding the Big 12 champion.
West Virginia QB Geno Smith vs. the Red Raiders’ top-rated pass defense. Those Tech defensive numbers were built against some spotty early season competition. The Red Raiders didn’t fare quite as well last week against Landy Jones and Oklahoma. Smith, with 24 touchdowns and no interceptions, will test a Texas Tech defense that’s giving up just 117 yards passing per game. Jones had 259 last week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: RB Andrew Buie will look to keep the Red Raiders’ defense guessing after he gained 207 yards in the Mountaineers 48-45 win at Texas last week. Success from Buie, who also caught three passes for 66 yards, could make it easier for Smith to more effectively attack Texas Tech’s secondary.
Texas Tech: QB Seth Doege’s accuracy and possibly his confidence have fallen off the past two weeks, evidenced in part by his five interceptions — half what he threw all last season. Fortunate for him and the Red Raiders’ receivers that West Virginia doesn’t defend the pass too well, giving up 336 yards a game to rank near the bottom nationally.
FACTS & FIGURES
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville is 0-1 vs. the Mountaineers, having lost at West Virginia 34-17 in 2008 when he was at Auburn… . West Virginia is averaging 7.4 yards on first downs and 8.2 yards on second downs; the Mountaineers are also converting on 53 percent of their third downs … . Texas Tech has 13 receivers who’ve caught at least five passes and six of those have at least 12 receptions this season… . Since 2000 WVU is 80-3 when scoring 30 or more points… . When Holgerson was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2010 — Tuberville’s first season with the Red Raiders — the Cowboys beat Texas Tech in Lubbock 34-17.
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