First Look . . . Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

We’re back at it!

1 . . .

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-5, 1-4)
West Virginia Mountaineers (3-5, 1-4)
November 9th @ 11:00 a.m.
Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium – Morgantown, West Virginia
Texas Tech -2
Partly Cloudy, 41-28.

Probably more similarities between these two programs, a close loss to Baylor last week and a poor conference record for the first-year head coach Neal Brown, than differences. In my mind, Brown was an option as a potential head coach at Texas Tech, but I don’t know that Kirby Hocutt ever really looked elsewhere other than Matt Wells. Back to the Mountaineers, they started off on the right foot with a win against James Madison, 20-13, and then a loss to Missouri sandwiched in-between a win against NC State. The lone conference win has come against Kansas, 29-24, and then they’ve lost 4 straight: Texas (42-31); Iowa State (38-14); Oklahoma (52-14); and Baylor (17-14).

2 . . .

Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall has been the starter at quarterback, completing 62% of his passes for 6.3 yards per attempt, 12 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Those are pretty pedestrian numbers and it would not surprise me if there were a change at quarterback at some point for West Virginia. As you may recall Jarrett Doege, brother of former Red Raider Seth Doege, transferred to WVU over the summer so he could be an option.

Leddie Brown and Kennedy McKoy are your leading rushers, but they’ve only run for about 200 yards and are averaging about 3.5 and 3 yards a carry. I know that there were a ton of transfers from West Virginia and wonder if the offensive line was particularly hit. It’s a dual-threat at receiver with T.J. Simmons and Sam James, Simmons has 31 catches for 409 yards averaging 13 yards a catch, and James has 44 catches for 400 yards and 9 yards a catch.

3 . . .

On defense, Josh Norwood is, I think, the unquestioned leader on that side of the ball. Leading the team with 55 tackles and I think he’s a very good safety. WVU has two players who have 3 interceptions, safeties Tykee Smith and Kerry Martin, Jr., so West Virginia’s continued excellent safety play may still be an issue for opposing offenses. Defensive lineman Darius Stills is the star there, recording 7 sacks thus far as well as 32 tackles, and that’s just outstanding work, while is brother, Dante Stills has 6 sacks on the year. They will be a handful.

4 . . .

The coaching staff has a few recognizable names. Aside from Neal Brown, the two co-offensive coordinators are Matt Moore, the offensive line coach who I think was let go by Tuberville at some point while he was at Texas Tech (not sure about that and am too lazy to go look it up) as well as Chad Scott, who is the current running backs coach at West Virginia and held the same spot for Texas Tech. On the defensive side of the ball, long-time defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is calling the plays there, who was at Troy with Brown for the four years that Brown was there. Koenning has coached at Clemson, Kansas State, Illinois, North Carolina, and then Troy with a short tenure as the head coach at Wyoming way back in 2000-02.

5 . . .

It’s been a week, but I wanted to get to the position ratings from the Kansas game. The results for the safety and cornerback spots are pretty hilarious and have not seen two positions mirror themselves as much as these two spots did. Also not sure why the disdain for the defensive line, but I’m pretty sure after a loss to Kansas rationality goes out the window (which I under stand to an extent).

1 2 3 4 5
Quarterback 80 22 69 35 5
Running Backs 63 12 57 70 9
Receivers and Tight Ends 70 34 67 35 5
Offensive Line 76 45 69 20 1
Defensive Line 98 62 38 10 2
Linebackers 77 44 52 34 3
Safeties 175 29 5 0 1
Cornerbacks 173 28 7 0 1
Special Teams 95 35 51 23 7
Offensive Coordinating 145 30 29 5 2
Defensive Coordinating 161 34 10 4 2
Head Coaching 150 33 25 1 2
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