Red Raiders looking to bounce back vs. WVU after loss to Sooners
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 08:10
This Saturday, No. 4 West Virginia will travel to Lubbock, Texas, a former homestead of Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen, to face off against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech for the second time in the schools’ histories.
Texas Tech fell 7-6 to the Mountaineers in their only other series meeting in 1938 in El Paso, Texas.
The Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) are led by head coach Tommy Tuberville, whose Auburn team also feel during a loss to WVU in 2008.
Texas Tech’s only loss this season came at the hands of No. 10 Oklahoma two weeks ago.
The Red Raiders are well-equipped on all three sides of the ball, but the defense has been the team’s standout unit so far. In fact, Texas Tech’s defense is the second-ranked defense in the nation, allowing just 210 total yards per game.
The Red Raiders know they’ll have their biggest test of the season when senior quarterback Geno Smith and the Mountaineers come into town.
"Just knowing the quarterback they have, if anybody has the front-running lead of this championship, it will be them - with all the experience and speed they’ve got," Tuberville said. "We’ve got to play on both sides: offense and defense. We can’t just worry about tackling them. We have to score points. In the last two weeks, our offense has not scored points.
"We won on defense at Iowa State, pretty much, and last week offensively we couldn’t get anything going consistently. We get in the red zone, and we’ve got to score some points, not lay back and kick field goals all the time."
The defensive unit is anchored by two veteran safeties, seniors D.J. Johnson and Cody Davis. The two Texas natives lead the team in tackles this season with 28 and 32 total stops, respectively, and have combined for nearly 450 tackles in their combined time in Lubbock.
"They’re not a gimmick defense – they’re a sound effort defense," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "They play hard, and their guys are in position. That poses problems when you don’t know what they’re going to do, and that aggravates you from a game-plan standpoint. We can come up with a bunch of plays, but it’s hard to execute against them."
Coming off a disappointing loss to Oklahoma a week ago, Tuberville said it’s going to be important for his team to come out ready to play against the Mountaineers, and it starts with his team coming out with a lot of emotion Saturday afternoon.
"We’ve had a lot of emotion on the sideline," Tuberville said. "I thought Saturday, after our first drive ... we lost a lot of emotion, and that comes from the coaches, but it also comes from your seniors.
"It was kind of like we weren’t expecting that to happen. I told them, ‘You better expect anything to happen in the games coming up, because everybody has good players.’"
After starting the season on such a strong note, the loss to the Sooners left a sour taste in some of the players’ mouths.
But the Red Raiders said they won’t get down; they’re ready to bounce back and try to pull off an upset Saturday.
"It motivates me," said senior quarterback Seth Doege. "I’m just motivated to get back out there. I had confidence going into OU. I’m confident in my abilities, and I think we’re going to win a lot of games and surprise a lot of people around here."