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Texas Tech vs. West Virginia: What you need to know

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on West Virginia in Lubbock this week. (Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com)

Saturday’s matchup between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the West Virginia Mountaineers should be an exciting one. West Virginia hasn’t lost a game yet this season, thanks primarily to defense, and Tech is No. 2 nationally in scoring and total offense.

Here are a few things you need to know for this Big 12 showdown:

  • Mahomes is one pass-happy quarterback. Even with a sore shoulder last week, the Red Raiders’ Patrick Mahomes II threw for 504 yards against Kansas State. He’s first in the nation in passing yards per game (454.8) and total offense (487.2). He’s completed 166 of 228 passes for 2,274 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. Since he became starting quarterback, Tech has scored at least 52 points and gained at least 607 yards in every home game. The Mountaineers are going to have their work cut out for them.
  • West Virginia is strong on defense. The Mountaineers rank third in the Big 12 for scoring defense (20 points per game), pass defense (227.2 yards per game) and total defense (418.5 yards per game). They shouldn’t count on the defense to hold down Mahomes, though. West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard will have to match Tech’s quarterback and avoid making many mistakes. However, Tech doesn’t have a defense worth mentioning, so the Mountaineers have them beat there.
  • The best defense is a good offense. The Mountaineers haven’t really had a chance this season to show off their big plays; that’ll be this game. They could reduce the impact of Tech’s offense by running the ball often and well – the Red Raiders have been allowing 179.4 rushing yards per game, so there’s a shot for some good numbers for West Virginia.

While strong on defense, the Mountaineers are really going to have to step up their scoring game. The Big 12 is known for unusually high scores, and West Virginia just hasn’t been putting up those kinds of numbers.

Plus, the game’s in Lubbock, so Tech has the home field advantage. All in all, it’ll be a close game, but the Red Raiders will walk away with the W.

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