Texas Tech-West Virginia Preview

BY foxsports • November 6, 2015

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has seen for himself over the past few weeks how Baylor's Corey Coleman and TCU's Trevon Boykin can wreck a defense.

Now comes the potential for more trouble Saturday for West Virginia from Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes and all-purpose playmaker Jakeem Grant.

They are reasons why Texas Tech has the nation's fourth-highest scoring offense at 47 points per game.

Mahomes threw for 480 yards and four touchdowns in a 70-53 loss to No. 12 Oklahoma State last week, while Grant had 178 receiving yards and his school-record fourth career kickoff return for a TD.

Mahomes ''really does a great job of extending the play and running around and keeping his eyes downfield and throwing it downfield to create plays,'' Holgorsen said. ''The biggest thing that we've got to do is play to the whistle defensively. They will keep it alive and sling that thing all over the place.''

Holgorsen wants to give Grant plenty of opportunities, especially on kickoff returns, because he hopes it means West Virginia is having its own success.

''If you score, you kick off,'' Holgorsen said. ''If that's the case, let's see if we can contain him. We've contained guys this year and we expect to do the same thing with him.''

Both defenses will have work to do.

West Virginia (3-4, 0-4 Big 12) has lost four straight and allowed 40 and 62 points in losses to No. 5 TCU and No. 2 Baylor.

Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4) has scored 50 points five times this season but, in addition to the Oklahoma State loss, surrendered 63 points the previous game to No. 14 Oklahoma.

''More than anything I think it's how the league is set up,'' said Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. ''I always look at it from the offensive side, should have scored here, should have scored there. The defense on Saturday in the third quarter gave us, I think, three times in a row the ball back to go up 17, and we didn't go do it.''


Some other things to consider when Texas Tech and West Virginia meet:

GAUGING GRANT: Against West Virginia last year, Grant scored on a 43-yard reception and caught five passes for 84 yards. The 5-foot-7 senior is 110 yards away from overtaking Eric Stephens for the school record for kick return yards and is 155 yards from passing Michael Crabtree as the career receiving yards leader.

DEPENDABLE DEANDRE: Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington needs 63 rushing yards to go over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He'd become the first Red Raider to do that since Byron Hanspard in 1995 and 1996.

DROPPED PASSES: West Virginia's Jovon Durante and other members of the young receiving corps are looking to bounce back after dropping several passes that could have been touchdowns against TCU. ''I just tell them to shake it off,'' said West Virginia senior wide receiver Jordan Thompson. ''You have to keep your head up, because the ball is going to find its way back to you. When the opportunity strikes you have to take advantage of it.''

SUFFERING SKYLER: When West Virginia won its first three games, quarterback Skyler Howard completed 69 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns with one interception. During the current losing streak, he's completed 48 percent of his passes and has seven TD passes and nine turnovers, including six interceptions.

NO REST: Texas Tech is playing for the 10th straight week without a bye. The Red Raiders won't get a week off until after playing Kansas State at home next Saturday.