Texas Tech vs West Virginia will kickoff with both teams reeling. West Virginia played well enough to win against a top-ten team last week in Norman, but came up just short. The Red Raiders were humbled by their in-state rivals in Austin. Which team can rebound in week 5?
When Texas Tech Is On Offense
Texas Tech will have a familiar relief pitcher coming in for the offense this week. Tyler Shough suffered a broken collar bone against Texas last week, so it will be Henry Colombi leading the offense. Colombi played well last week in a tough spot against the Longhorns, and is no stranger in needing to respond after an injury to the quarterback position. In the six games he appeared in during the 2020 season, Colombi would throw for 1065 yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions. Although he still never threw for more than 244 yards in a game.
But against Texas, Colombi went for over 300 yards passing with some very impressive downfield strikes. Good news is the entire wide receiving corps seems to be rounding into shape. Kaylon Geiger gained 100 yards for the second straight game. Loic Fouonji and Myles Price are starting to bring significant contributions to the table. All of this in addition to the stellar play by stand-out receiver Erik Ezukanma.
The Red Raider rushing attack stalled for the first time this season after being such a strength through non-conference play. Tahj Brooks, who had a break-out season heading into the Texas game, missed due to a leg injury and could be out “a few weeks.” The good news is SaRodrick Thompson is getting healthy and back into game shape. Xavier White will still get touches in the backfield as well.
But if the offense is going to move the ball at all, it must deal with a challenging defensive front. This unit just went on the road and limited an explosive Sooner offense to a total of 313 yards and 16 points. This also included them holding Oklahoma to only 2.0 yards per rushing attempt and sacking the quarterback four times. Texas Tech is going to have to win the line of scrimmage on the road in order to put themselves in a position to win.
When Texas Tech Is On Defense
There is only one direction this defense can go after last week’s abysmal performance. But they are going to be without transfer defensive back Marquis Waters after suffering a season-ending pectoral injury. The offense attack they are facing this week is not nearly as explosive as the ‘Horns attack they faced in Austin last week. Quarterback Jarret Doege (a last name Texas Tech fans certainly will recognize) has not been lighting up the scoreboard so far in the 2021 season. Against the three power five opponents they have faced this year, he is averaging 210 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception per game.
In those same three games, West Virginia has not scored more than 27 points. Leddie Brown leads a pedestrian West Virginia rushing attack. He has only eclipsed the 100-yard mark once this season and the team is averaging 116.5 yards per game (108th in the nation). For the defense, this is a perfect opportunity for a “get-right” performance. They really need to send a statement with a few three-and-outs at the start of the game to set the tone.
Texas Tech Vs West Virigina Predicion
Two teams looking to turn the page in a hurry. Texas Tech vs West Virginia could end up looking more like a Big 10 game than a Big 12 game. The Mountaineers would like to get the sour taste out of their mouth after coming *this* close to upsetting the Sooners. The Red Raiders are desperate to put a 35-point beat down behind them. Expect a very bruising game throughout on both sides of the ball. But until Texas Tech can demonstrate they can win in the trenches for all four quarters, they will fall just short again in Morgantown.
West Virginia 24, Texas Tech 21