MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Texas Tech may be coming to Morgantown with an uninspiring 1-2 record, but the Red Raiders are also 2-0 in Milan Puskar Stadium in their last two trips to West Virginia.
After winning five-straight games against Texas Tech from 2014-2018, the Mountaineers haven’t beaten the Red Raiders since Neal Brown took over as head coach in 2019.
In four games from 2019-2022, Texas Tech beat West Virginia four times by an average of 17.25 points per game while averaging 442.25 yards of offense per game.
“It is what it is,” Brown said. “[We] can’t hide from it. They’ve beaten us four years in a row, and last year probably [was about] as bad [of] a performance I’ve ever been a part of down in Lubbock.”
Last year’s matchup in Lubbock was the ugliest of the four. Texas Tech outgained WVU 594 yards to 282 yards in a 48-10 thrashing of the Mountaineers. The Red Raiders nearly matched WVU’s entire offensive output through its ground attack (257 rushing yards).
“The common theme is [that] they’ve moved the ball on us pretty well,” Brown said. “And then we haven’t ran the ball as well as we need to be able to run the football to win football games versus those guys.”
Offensive lineman Doug Nester was a part of the WVU offensive line that allowed six tackles for loss and produced just 92 yards rushing in last year’s loss to Texas Tech. Nester noted that in order to produce an improved offensive performance Saturday, it will start up front with the veteran offensive line, most of whom have played Texas Tech multiple times.
“They have two really talented interior guys that’ve played a lot of football,” Nester said. “And they’re big and long on the edges, so it was really just, we have to go out there and play better than we did last year.”
Though they are a pass-happy team that utilizes an air-raid offense, Texas Tech leaned more on its running game (54 rushes) than the passing attack (49 attempts) in Lubbock last year. No matter what type of play it is, Texas Tech typically moves fast offensively in an effort to keep the defense from substituting.
“They’re a good team, it’s just [about] matching their tempo,” linebacker Trey Lathan said. “They run a lot of tempo stuff, so I feel like we just got to match their tempo and settle down in the game.”
What seems to be nearly a certainty is that the winner of Saturday’s game will likely score points in bulk. The winner of nine of the last 10 TTU-WVU games has scored over 30 points. The two exceptions are a 7-6 WVU win in 1938 and Texas Tech’s 23-20 win two years ago in Morgantown.
“They play really fast, and we better be ready for it,” Brown said. “We didn’t handle that very well last year, and so that’s something that we spent a lot of time working on, and this is our first opportunity versus a team that’s going to tempo. [We will] see if we got that issue fixed.”