TTU Red Raiders Gear Up For WVU Mountaineers
After a devastating loss to Texas to open up their Big 12 Conference, TTU will begin to gear up for WVU. Texas Tech is coming into the game with a 3-1 record, with their one loss being on the road to Texas. The matchup between the two is set to take place at 2:30 pm central time at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia. The matchup between the two should be farewell as the two are both coming off conference losses.
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The Mountaineers stand at 2-2 on the season, but their record does not do them justice. West Virginia began their season on the road and would be edged out by Maryland 24-30. After losing their season opener, the Mountaineers would return home and beat Long Island University in a dominant fashion 66-0.
In their third game of the season and final non-conference game, the Mountaineers would take on No. 15 ranked Virginia Tech and force an upset by winning 27-21. In the season’s first conference game, they would travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on the No. 4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Many thought the game would be a blowout in favor of the Sooners. But that would not be the case at all. In the game’s final seconds, Oklahoma would kick a field goal to escape and win 13-16.
With a season full of ups and downs, the Mountaineers are playing great football at the moment and will be a competitive game for the Red Raiders.
Players to Keep an Eye On
While the Mountaineers may not have a roster full of four- and five-star athletes like Texas, several playmakers, have shown they can compete. The first on the list that plays for WVU that TTU will have to gear up for is quarterback Jarret Doege. Thus far, Doege has had a good season completing 73 passes on just 117 attempts for 889 yards. He has thrown six touchdowns with four interceptions but has only thrown a season-long 39-yard pass.
West Virginias also has a dangerous run game coming from Leddie Brown. Brown on the season has 66 rushes for 321 yards. With five touchdowns on the season and an 80-yard long, the Red Raiders will need to control the line of scrimmage to shut Brown down.
On the receiving side of things, there are three Mountaineers with 15 or more receptions on the season. The three to watch out for are Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Winston Wright Jr., and Sam James. Ford-Wheaton leads the team in receiving yards with 219 yards on just 15-catches with a single touchdown. James also has 15-receptions for 187-yards with three touchdown catches. The receiver with the most catch is Wright Jr., who has 17-catches for 172 yards on the season. With a solid receiving core, the Red Raider secondary will be at the top of their game.
Keys to Victory
The TTU Red Raiders will have to do several things to gear up for WVU, but a big part of that will start on the defensive side of the ball. While allowing 70 points against Texas, the Red Raiders defense as a whole will have to perform. This will start with the defensive line with players such as Hutchins and Bradford Jr. If they can set the tone early and apply pressure to the quarterback early, the defensive line can take control of the game. Following the defensive line, the linebacker core with Jeffers and Schooler will need to be faster at meeting running backs in the gap and better protecting the pass. The secondary receivers will need to be covered aggressively, discouraging the Mountaineers from passing the ball deep.
On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive line is going to have to tighten up. If they can protect Colombi and establish the line of scrimmage, the team will be able to do what they please on the offensive side of the ball. This will open up lanes for Thompson to carry the ball. Furthermore, it will move the secondary forward to open up the deep pass. With plenty of threats, the Texas Tech offense has the ability to do many things, and this will start with the offensive line.
Overall, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will have their hands full this weekend in Morgantown, West Virginia. As Tech take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. After both teams started off Big 12 Conference play, 0-1, each will look to bounce back. The game will be played at Milan Puskar Stadium, and you can watch ESPN2 and Texas Tech Sports Network starting at 2:30 pm, Saturday, October 2nd.
For a recap of Texas Tech’s last game against Texas click here!
For Texas Tech’s full schedule click here!
Story by Campus Live Employee Trinity Porter