Texas Tech-West Virginia Preview
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is one of three Red Raiders freshman quarterbacks to be named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week after his first career start. The other two play for him.
He isn't sure which one will start Saturday for his 16th-ranked team at West Virginia.
Davis Webb became the second to earn the award this year after throwing for a Big 12 season-high 415 yards Saturday and leading the Red Raiders (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) to a 42-35 win against Iowa State. Baker Mayfield earned the award after throwing for 413 yards in Texas Tech's opener against SMU but injured his right knee Oct. 5 against Kansas.
"Now there are two of them that have done that," Kingsbury said of Webb's award. "It's fun to see. He was disappointed earlier in the year, obviously, at not being named the starter, but never blinked an eye. Kept working and kept getting better, and he's progressed and progressed and progressed, and really played well and made some big-time throws.
"I'm excited to see him have that success, and I'm sure he's going to keep getting better."
Kingsbury earned the award in 1999, and Webb's performance last Saturday helped him become the first Texas Tech coach to win his first six games.
He'll go for No. 7 against a coach he knows quite well. West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen was the wide receivers coach at Texas Tech when Kingsbury played there. Kingsbury was then part of the offensive staff with Holgorsen at Houston and the two lived together.
"Obviously, we don't talk as much now that we're in the same conference," Kingsbury said. "But I have a ton of respect for him and I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for him."
A win would give Texas Tech its first 7-0 start since winning 10 to start the 2008 season.
West Virginia (3-3, 1-2) isn't talking awards and winning streaks after suffering through a 73-42 thumping at Baylor on Oct. 5. The Mountaineers had a bye week to think about the eight rushing touchdowns they allowed.
"It was a poor performance defensively and offensively," Holgorsen said. "It was a little bit of a buzz saw because Baylor played very well. You cannot sit there and dwell on it forever - you have to put that one to rest and get back out there and keep working. That is what we did, and we expect to have a lot better of a defensive performance on Saturday."
The Mountaineers gave up a conference-record 864 yards to Baylor, breaking the Mountaineers' mark of 807 against Baylor last year.
The Mountaineers also have a quarterback controversy. Clint Trickett, Ford Childress and Paul Millard have started two games apiece, and Trickett was replaced by Millard in the loss to the Bears.
Trickett went 9 of 28 for 161 yards while Millard was 8 of 13 for 115 yards and two scores. Holgorsen said his communication with his quarterbacks has to improve, though it's unclear who will start Saturday.
"I'm not doing something right evidently, because there were a lot of times in the first couple of series (with Trickett) where I was giving him specific orders and they weren't being followed," Holgorsen said. "So I'm not doing something right. I'll keep trying to work on it."
Kingsbury said the Red Raiders wouldn't decide on a quarterback until the end of the week after evaluating Mayfield's injury.
Whomever starts likely will be targeting Jace Amaro. The 6-foot-5 tight end has 47 catches for 606 yards, including nine receptions in each of his last four games.
The roles were reversed in last year's meeting. The Red Raiders hosted a fifth-ranked Mountaineers team on Oct. 13 and beat them 49-14, starting a five-game losing streak for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers are 3-0 at home, where they're holding opponents to 15.0 points per game.