West Virginia Mountaineers
CONFERENCE RECORD: 2-0
NEXT OPPONENT: TCU
LOCATION: Jones AT&T Stadium
BETTING LINE: West Virginia -1
Texas Tech Red Raiders
CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-2
NEXT OPPONENT: Oklahoma
FINAL LINE SCORE
WEST VIRGINIA STATS
TOP PASSER: Skyler Howard: 21/31, 318 Yards, 1 TD
TOP RUSHER: Rushel Shell: 21 Carries, 104 Yards, 2 TDs
TOP RECEIVER: Daikiel Shorts: 3 Receptions, 100 Yards
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Skyler Howard
PLAYER STATS: 21/31, 318 Yards, 1 TD, 12 Carries, 89 Yards, 2 Rush TDs
While the defensive line had a huge role in the Mountaineers’ big win, Skyler Howard absolutely LIT UP Texas Tech’s defense. Every time Howard dropped back, he had all day long and at least one receiver wide open. In the rare case that didn’t happen, Howard simply ran past the rush and got at least a few yards. West Virginia really clinched a victory after a drive that resulted in a touchdown off a turnover in the second quarter. After that, Howard was clearly the best athlete on the field, and he had himself a great game and was a huge help in West Virginia’s winning effort.
WEST VIRGINIA POSITION GROUP RATINGS
OFFENSIVE LINE: 9
Clearly the five best big men on the field today. Howard had all day and Shell and Crawford had a million running lanes to choose from.
RUNNING BACKS: 9
There were no truly negative plays in the running game today, even when Texas Tech was playing decently in the first quarter.
West Virginia’s passing game was as powerful as the running game, and Howard had clearly his best game of the year. The Mountaineers are legit.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 7
The whole offense played well, but the group that played the least great was the wideouts. They were decently explosive, but they had lots of help from poor tackling.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 10
Patrick Mahomes had approximately 1 nanosecond to throw most of the time. The D-Line was the best group on the field today for both teams.
The linebackers didn’t need to do too much because the running backs never got past the D-Line and there weren’t a lot of plays in the middle of the field. They payed well when they were called upon.
I’m mostly deducting for one play: the first touchdown from Jontahan Giles. Other than that, there was really only a couple of busted coverages and solid coverage otherwise.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 6
West Virginia had a missed field goal. It ended up being inconsequential, but you never want to leave points on the field
This was the type of game you didn’t need to actively coach. You just let your guys control the game their way and watch as the lead grows.
Wow. West Virginia was probably the only undefeated team that nobody really cared about except perhaps Western Michigan. They had won close games against decent opponents BYU and Kansas State. Nobody was really impressed. Now, they should be. It has been a long time since I’ve seen one team be so much more physical than the team they were playing. Texas Tech got absolutely embarrassed. There were at most five or six Red Raiders who played well (Mahomes and whichever receivers were in at the time). There is absolutely no reason Texas Tech, one of the best offensive teams in the country, should score 17 points, with 7 coming in garbage time. Nic Shimonek finally got snaps, and I think the main reason he was so effective was that West Virginia had called off the dogs. This game was over the instant Sean Walters caught an interception in the early second. Texas Tech was playing stupidly. Never before have I seen so many penalties on third or fourth down combined with a lot of automatic first downs for West Virginia. This team has all the hallmarks of bad coaching: poor technique, penalites, a sense of apathy as soon as they were losing, and especially missed tackles. Don’t get me wrong, West Virginia should shoot way up in the rankings, deservedly so. But I am now only remotely confident that Texas Tech can defeat Iowa State and maybe Texas, and if they lose both then I can’t see them beating anybody else. The truth is, Kliff Kingsbury is officially on the hot seat. I don;t see him losing his job even if Tech ends up 3-9, but next year he will be coaching for his job if the Red Raiders do not dramatically improve in almost every group except quarterback and receiver. Maybe Kliff is just destined to be an offensive coordinator.
TEXAS TECH POSITION GROUP RATINGS
OFFENSIVE LINE: 0
This is supposed to be on a 1-10 scale, but a 1 would be generous. It is not Mahomes’ fault that he was sacked four times, and it wasn’t ALL the running backs fault the running game was anemic.
RUNNING BACKS: 2
On the Confused Conference this week, I mentioned that the running backs and D-Line needed to step up. Both didn’t. Terrible running game today.
Patrick Mahomes really should’ve been sacked ten times. He was almost magically elusive today, but West Virginia’s coverage was too good for him to lead a comeback.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 8
Good play once again. They didn’t have a lot to work with considering how many screens were thrown, but they did have a solid game, unlike most of the Red Raiders.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 0
Once again, 1 is too high. In stark contrast to the pressure Mahomes faced, Howard and Shell did whatever they wanted because of excellent protection.
D’Vonta Hinton did have a pretty good game. However, once again, Texas Tech missed an absurd amount of tackles. It’s becoming a plague.
They get an A for effort. On the rare occasion Howard was rushed, he could find an open man. These guys had to tackle a lot of guys that got past the front seven.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 6
Finally, FINALLY, Texas Tech had a good game in the special teams department. It’s juts a shame the offense had their worst game in years.
This was an undisciplined, sloppy, and irresponsible performance. Texas Tech had many stupid penalties, and there was a punt play late in the game that looked atrocious, plus a lot of missed tackles. Atrocious coaching.