Seven Points: Texas Tech vs. West Virginia

Our weekly seven point preview of West Virginia, complete with graphs, charts, play analysis and more.

Point 1: Key Player

Player Vital Information
Name: Jonathan Giles
Position: Receiver
Height/Weight: 5-11/184
Classification: Freshman
Key Stats: 13 receptions; 121 yards; 3 touchdowns

This is opportunity knocking at your door, both literally and figuratively. I was a bit surprised to hear that Kliff Kingsbury and Eric Morris were going to give some reps to Giles at the outside receiver. A clear indication that they’re still not happy with the production on the outside. Giles has an opportunity to make something happen here. It won’t be easy, the WVU cornerbacks are big and talented, but Kingsbury and Morris are opening the door for a reason.

Point 2: Uniform Tracker

Uniform Tracker
Opponent Helmet Jersey Pants Result
Sam Houston State W, 59-45
UTEP W, 69-20
Arkansas W, 35-24
TCU L, 55-52
Baylor L, 63-35
Iowa State W, 66-31
Kansas W, 30-20
Oklahoma L, 63-27
Oklahoma State L, 70-53

Point 3: Keys to the Game

Thanks to Football Study Hall (where there are more stats than just these, so make sure and check them out): Texas Tech’s profile and West Virginia’s profile.

Connelly’s numbers absolutely love WVU, and that’s why they have WVU as a 14 point favorite over Texas Tech. Kinda crazy to think that, but the advanced stats love the Mountaineers. If you’re looking for things on your side of the ledger, it’s the offense, obviously.

TTU O Rank

WVU D Rank
S&P+ 2 26
Points/Gm 4 78
Explosiveness 8 126
Efficiency 12 12
Field Position 94 53
Finishing Drives 7 38

This looks terrible for Texas Tech, even though West Virginia isn’t great offensively, they’re still pretty good. Good enough. Biggest thing is that they don’t finish drives in the red zone (see below) and that’s a good thing.

TTU D Rank

WVU O Rank
S&P+ 120 17
Points/Gm 123 70
Explosiveness 81 44
Efficiency 127 60
Field Position 49 78
Finishing Drives 125 81

Point 4: Texas Tech Offense vs. West Virginia Defense

The biggest battle is going to be 3rd down conversions, where Texas Tech is fantastic at converting, and West Virginia is fantastic at stopping.

Point 5: Texas Tech Defense vs. West Virginia Offense

Check out that red zone touchdown percentage for West Virginia. That’s their biggest problem, punching the ball over the stripe. Unfortuantely, Texas Tech has been incredibly terrible at stopping this.

Point 6: A Look at the West Virginia Offense

A little bit of misdirection, but that’s really not a good description, it’s a pretty straight handoff and Howard is rolling left. He’s a dangerous option, so you have to account for him.

The right tackle somewhat whiffs and doesn’t keep a clean block. You can see how quickly things crumble here. The line of scrimmage is the 20 and WVU gets to the 21. Lots of credit to TCU here, but a big part of this is that TCU does have some issue holding the block a bit.

Pretty standard 10 personnel look for WVU.

And you are not expecting Howard to pull a John Elway and just run right up the gut of the defense. It’s not a huge gain, but it’s plenty. Not to mention the holes are pretty big here.

Another standard look. Holgorsen is going three to the left side quite a bit.

The line has this blocked really well, although there are two defenders there to make a play depending on what Howard does. The key here is that lineman having to make that block on the linebacker. Howard ends up handing the ball off because his options aren’t great at this point.

Point 7: A Look at the West Virginia Defense

This is pretty interesting. Like Oklahoma State, they’ve got all 11 defensive players standing up. Visually, this is interesting to me, for sure.

The right end takes a really long way on a stunt, it’s more of a loop than a stunt and it does force Boykin out of the pocket.

Another down where WVU is completely standing up and they add a bit of a blitz element to the concept.

TCU opts for a screen pass, which looks pretty well blocked, but if the receivers don’t do a good job of sticking with their man, it doesn’t work at all. It’s something that Texas Tech will have to be better at.

A bit more of a standard look. As you recall, WVU only runs out a 3 man front.

WVU closes in pretty quickly here as the ball goes to the running back. This is a well defended play. Notice the physicality on the receivers. WVU isn’t afraid of playing close.

I would guess that this will be the most common look, two deep safeties, playing the receivers relatively tight.

The screen pass is in effect and had WVU tackled well, this would not be a significant gain. It’s not a back-breaker, but it’s a decent gain


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