Finally, the bounces went the Mountaineers’ way and they took advantage of them to pick up a huge win over Baylor. How do they keep that moving forward as they face Texas Tech?
Let’s start in the defensive backfield where, despite the win, they still allowed the Bears to throw for 421 yards and a pair of long touchdown passes. That has to be better this week because the Red Raiders have the top passing offense in the Big 12 averaging 365 yards through the air per game, and with the Mountaineers’ depleted defensive backfield this is a big concern.
Tech has used three quarterbacks: Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith and Behren Morton. A big opportunity for the Mountaineers could come in the turnover game and they used it to their advantage last week. The Raiders put the ball in the air about 50 times per game and with that, they have thrown 10 interceptions this season the most in the conference.
One way to shut down the Red Raiders’ offense, keep them off the field. WVU leads the conference in time of possession, holding onto the ball nearly 33 per game. Playing keep away would go a long way in helping the WVU defense. A possible return of CJ Donaldson would only add to the rushing attack we saw from Mathis and Johnson against Baylor. Tech’s defense is next to last in the Big 12 in stopping the run.
The Mountaineers must make the most of their red zone opportunities, as the Red Raiders have the worst red zone defense in the Big 12 as teams are scoring on nearly 92 percent of their chances.
Through the years WVU has had some success in Lubbock and is 3-2 there all-time. They probably have to win a high-scoring game to pick up their fourth win.