No. 4 West Virginia looks to stay perfect in road tilt with Texas Tech
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 08:10
After returning from the Lone Star State only five short days ago, the No. 4 West Virginia football team will make another trip to Texas.
West Virginia (5-0, 2-0) travels to Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in hopes of earning bowl eligibility for the 11th consecutive year.
The Mountaineers scrapped out a road win against No. 11 Texas Saturday, while the Red Raiders fell at home to No. 17 Oklahoma.
The loss was Texas Tech’s first of the season.
"Texas Tech is a good football team," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "They had a setback last week, but they’ll be ready to go. From their fan standpoint, there will be some 60,000 people that will be anxious to get a crack at the Mountaineers."
Something has to give in Lubbock, Texas as Holgorsen’s offensive unit is averaging more than 50 points per game and the Red Raider defense is allowing less than 17 points per outing.
"Defensively, they’re (the Red Raiders) one of the top teams in the country. They have given up 200 yards per game, so people haven’t moved the ball on them," Holgorsen said. "We were in here 16 hours yesterday trying to figure out creative ways to get first downs. They do a good job against the run, they do a good job against the pass, and they create turnovers. And we’re going to have to play as good as we have all year offensively."
In order for West Virginia to be successful on offense, it must continue to get Heisman-like play from its senior quarterback Geno Smith. Smith has logged 24 passing touchdowns on the season and is still yet to throw an interception.
But the latter statistic isn’t discussed often in the second-year head coach’s office.
"We don’t talk about that. We talk about completions and putting the ball where you need to put the ball," Holgorsen said. "The protection has to be good, and we have to run the ball good to keep some heat off Geno, as far as having him have to throw the ball into eight people who are dropping. When the ball is in the air, it’s up to the receiver to attack it and makes sure it is ours."
This will be first trip in WVU program history to Lubbock. Many players don’t know what to expect in the new venue, but they do know one thing – the atmosphere will be hostile.
"There will be 60,000 that care about their football," Holgorsen said. "We need to get used to being in those types of environments and having those types of games. That’s why we wanted to be in the Big 12."
West Virginia has played in rowdy environments in each of its last two games, including playing in front of more than 100,000 fans against Texas.
It appears loud atmospheres are a common theme in the Big 12 Conference.
"I can’t wait; if they all thought that (against Texas) was fun and Baylor was fun, then they will probably have a good time this weekend," Holgorsen said.