Well folks, every other year the Mountaineers make that trip to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Red Raiders. An 11:00 am, Texas time, kickoff means the sun will be sweltering by the second half and the student section will likely have their breakfast burritos and tortillas flying that morning. Traveling to Texas Tech this season is more than just getting that glimpse of Kliff Kingsbury.
This game is the first true test for West Virginia this season.
Saturday will be the a chance for West Virginia to show up on a large conference stage; it’s the first true road game for the season and will arguably be the most difficult opponent thus far this season. Tortilla tossing aside, the student section is always alive and dynamic, making for a tough setting for the visiting team to maintain focus.
The tortillas make for an interesting aspect of Lubbock on their own. Anyone remember Skyler Howard taking a bite out of one thrown in his direction?
Take a minute and watch the recap of this past weekend’s Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game. If that same Texas Tech team shows up Saturday morning, West Virginia will need to come out with more energy at the first snap than they think they are capable of. This year’s Red Raiders – Mountaineers game is going to be something people talk about for sure.
Judging by Texas Tech’s conference opener last week, this game will be eventful for all sixty minutes. West Virginia’s offense has been nothing short of dynamic, and the Red Raiders will look to put a drastic stall in Grier’s increasing weekly Heisman campaign.
One always interesting dynamic of this game stems from the coaching perspective. Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen and Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury have coached in countless games together, and against one another. The two have a relationship off the field, going so far as to having once been roommates. Both Holgorsen and Kingsbury know enough about each other long enough that it is both an advantage and disadvantage to their times, the two having once coached on the same team so coaching styles and plays may see similarities.
Simply put, this is going to be a challenge for the Mountaineers. Texas Tech will challenge West Virginia in ways they have yet to be challenged this year, and likely won’t be challenged this aggressively until after the October bye week. Texas Tech brings a crazy fast offense to the field, something the defense will have to be more than prepared for.
Saturday’s matchup is also West Virginia’s first game against a ranked opponent, which will be a weekly matter come the end of the season. Each game is more important than the last and the Mountaineers never look past the current week’s business trip. But for fans, the season as a whole is always on the mind and the tip of the tongue, with many looking at how this week’s matchup could have bigger ramifications on conference play and the pie in the sky playoff situation.
Taking it one game at a time, the Mountaineers look to return to Morgantown after this season’s first showdown in Texas. Here’s hoping West Virginia comes in with some hot sauce for those breakfast burritos that may be thrown their way.