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Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Prediction, Game Preview

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West Virginia at Texas Tech prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday’s matchup between the Mountaineers and Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium.


Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Game Preview

When: Saturday, October 15 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX
Broadcast: FS1

So, how good is this West Virginia team anyway? Yeah, the Mountaineers are one of the two remaining undefeated Big 12 schools, and they cracked the Top 25 a week ago. Yet, they haven’t faced a ranked opponent, and might not for at least another month. And they’ve yet to play a true road game … until now. Having survived back-to-back nail-biters with BYU and Kansas State before a bye week, West Virginia heads to Lubbock to play one-dimensional Texas Tech. While the Red Raiders are No. 2 nationally in scoring, they’ve already fallen twice, most recently at Kansas State a week ago.

What To Know About West Virginia

In an ironic and unexpected twist, the Mountaineer offense has underachieved, yet the overachieving defense has picked up more of the slack. West Virginia is averaging a modest 26 points in three games with FBS opponents. Plus, Skyler Howard has thrown a pick in every game. Fortunately, Texas Tech has a way of fixing other team’s offensive woes. On D, coordinator Tony Gibson has done a nice job with a unit dotted with new starters. Sure, getting to the quarterback is an issue, and will be again this week, but WVU is a very respectable third in the Big 12 in total defense, pass defense and scoring defense.

What to Know About Texas Tech

QB Patrick Mahomes returned quicker than expected from a shoulder injury to ring up the third 500-yard passing game of his career. Not enough. The Red Raiders, home of the nation’s top-ranked pass attack, still lost to K-State, unable to force punts against one of the league’s worst offenses. Tech is soft between the twenties, but the defense is particularly feeble in the red zone, allowing almost 70% of the opposition’s trip to result in touchdowns. And no one is stepping up consistently, save for possibly senior CB Justis Nelson, who leads the team in pass breakups.

Advantages

Offense: Texas Tech. True, the ‘eers have a better shot of achieving balance, but they’ve yet to match the Red Raiders’ scoring punch.

Defense: West Virginia. No contest. The Red Raiders are a perennial sieve, while the Mountaineers are getting solid play from the likes of DE Noble Nwachukwu, SLB Justin Arndt and CB Antonio Crawford.

Special Teams: West Virginia. Decorated PK Josh Lambert is back from suspension to join underrated P Billy Kinney.

Coaching: West Virginia. Dana Holgorsen vs. Kliff Kingsbury is one of the top Week 7 matchups of offensive innovators, though the latter has more to prove as a complete head coach.

Intangibles: Texas Tech. West Virginia has already had two bye weeks before the halfway point of the season, which could negatively impact the team’s rhythm and continuity.

Matchup To Watch

Crawford vs. Jonathan Giles, Cameron Batson and the Texas Tech wide receivers

Crawford has helped solidify the West Virginia secondary in his first season since transferring from Miami. Through four games, the ‘eers have more picks than touchdowns surrendered, while allowing quarterbacks to complete just 47.7% of their throws. Obviously, the Red Raider present an entirely different challenge, with Giles and Batson serving as Mahomes’ favorite targets.

Betting Odds

Spread: West Virginia -1
Over/Under: No line (as of posting)

Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Prediction

West Virginia is ripe for the picking and probably a little overrated right now. But it’s also the more complete team in this matchup. Mahomes will pile up his usual numbers, somewhere north of 400 yards and three scores through the air. However, the Mountaineers will travel stride-for-stride against the dilapidated Texas Tech defense. And they’ll do so with a diverse mix of Howard to Shelton Gibson and Daikiel Shorts and the running of Justin Crawford and Rushel Shell. For the third time this year, the Red Raiders will score enough to win … yet lose to slip back to .500.

Texas Tech vs. West Virginia Score Prediction: West Virginia 42, Texas Tech 38

MORE: No. 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 7

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