No. 4 West Virginia not overlooking unranked Texas Tech this week
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 00:10
Taking it one game at a time has been a common theme among the West Virginia football team over the past couple of years.
In fact, it’s cliche.
But fresh off one of its biggest road wins in recent years and with a matchup against No. 5 Kansas State looming in the headlights, the No. 4 Mountaineers could be overlooking their tilt with unranked Texas Tech this Saturday.
But is this a "trap game"?
"I don’t understand what a trap game means," said head coach Dana Holgorsen. "You play the same every week. If you don’t have the ability to understand that every week is the same, you get beat."
Much like their head coach, many members of the West Virginia football team had never heard of the term trap game.
"I didn’t even know what it was at first," said freshman linebacker Isaiah Bruce. "I don’t think any of us think about the game like that at all because every single game, in order for us to reach our goal, we have to win every single one. So, we are going to prepare just like every other week. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing."
Even though the Red Raiders aren’t ranked this week, they did find themselves in the top 25 a week ago before a home loss to Oklahoma.
The Mountaineers are fully aware of the talented product that will oppose them this weekend in Lubbock, Texas.
Because of this, many players don’t see how anyone could consider this a "trap game."
"Trap game? It’s Texas Tech. They’re a good team," said junior safety Darwin Cook. "This is the most together team I’ve probably been around in my life."
Cook’s senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate agrees.
"There is really nothing to look past," said Geno Smith. "It’s going to be a new atmosphere for a lot of us in a venue versus new coaches. It’s a new experience."
Last year, though, players admitted they may have overlooked a road matchup with Syracuse – a game the No. 15 Mountaineers lost 49-23.
But the fact that West Virginia is in a new conference facing opponents it has never seen before makes it difficult for the team to look past anyone.
"You don’t know what to expect," Cook said. "They don’t know you, and you don’t know them, so it’s just going to be a good ball game."
Smith also credits the leadership style of this team for preventing such games as the shocking loss to the Orange in 2011.
"I believe we have a great group of leaders to lead this team, from the coaching staff down to the players," Smith said. "We’re not going to look past anyone. Because as I’ve always said, it’s not a marathon; it’s a sprint."
So, when the Mountaineers take the field Saturday afternoon, don’t expect an emotional letdown.
"Every game, you should come out with the same mindset you had the game before," said senior cornerback Pat Miller. "You have to respect every opponent … Every game you just come out like it’s your last game."