Seth from Viva the Matadors was kind enough to answer some questions about this weekend's game between the Raiders and the Mountaineers. Let's get started, shall we?
Matt: After a 7-0 start to 2013, the Raiders have been in an enormous slide. What do you think the big factors are behind that and is Kliff starting to lose some backing from the Tech faithful?
Seth: No, I don't think so. Folks are disappointed, but I don't think they are losing faith. I suppose it is like WVU's 2013 season where the team really looked like it was struggling, a large part of that was the quarterback. Sometimes it just takes time for that to click. As far as the reasons, I'm writing about this on Friday on Viva The Matadors, but I think a big part of the problem is that Texas Tech had to go out and recruit four JUCO defensive linemen and three of the four are being asked to play significant roles for the defense. Plus, Texas Tech is playing 3 true freshmen cornerbacks and one true sophomore at cornerback. That's one of the toughest positions to play and learn on the go. And last, I think Texas Tech has lacked some veteran wide receivers, which if I had to guess, is the toughest of the receiver positions to play because you're learning how to fight off a cornerback and go and make plays. There just weren't any players to bridge those gaps at those key positions for Texas Tech.
Matt: What's the deal with Tech's turnover bug this season? Is Davis Webb pressing to try to make big plays or is there something schematically wrong with Tech's offense?
Seth:Oh yes, he is pressing quite a bit. He's making some pretty awful throws and he's just not doing a good enough job of finding the open man. Schematically, I don't think anything has really changed and Webb has to figure out a way to beat opposing defenses from dropping 7 or 8 into coverage and find the open receiver. For me, I think it is a maturation issue as he has the physical ability and he is said to be vigilant about watching tape. Sometimes the light just clicks, similar to Trickett from 2013 to thus far in 2014.
Matt: Clint Trickett has been phenomenal and nothing seems to slow him down as of now. How does Tech's secondary stack up against WVU's renewed passing attack and who has better hair between Clint and Kliff
Seth:As mentioned above, the secondary is relatively young, at least two freshmen cornerbacks will be playing at the field cornerback and a true sophomore at the boundary cornerback. White and Alford are going to be incredibly tough covers for those guys. I actually like Texas Tech's safeties quite a bit, but they get lost sometimes on coverage as well. As to the hair, I'll take Trickett, only because Kingsbury keeps it high and tight, while Trickett appears to keep it a bit longer. That is not a euphemism for anything.
Matt: WVU's special teams have been infuriating this year, especially fielding punts and in punt coverage. How has Tech's special teams units shaped up this season and how many thousands of yards will Jakeem Grant have against us?
Seth:Texas Tech's return game is actually fantastic and could have 4 or 5 touchdowns . . . if it weren't for those dreaded penalties. I don't have the numbers as far as kickoff or punt returns that have been called back, but it has been equally frustrating for Texas Tech fans to watch those sorts of points fall off the board because of penalties. Grant is fantastic as is Reginald Davis. They both have speed to burn.
Matt: Tech has owned WVU since we joined the Big 12. What do the Raiders HAVE to do to keep up that streak in Lubbock and what can the Mountaineers do to come out of West Texas with a big win?
Seth:If Texas Tech can win the turnover battle, something both WVU and TTU have been awful at and if Texas Tech can score consistently, then I like Texas Tech's chances. If WVU gets out to an early lead, Texas Tech has not played well trying to fight their way back in a game. The biggest difference is that WVU's offense appears to be significantly better (especially that running game) and more consistent than Texas Tech's. Texas Tech just hasn't lit it up this year.
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Matt: Who would you least like to leave in a room with your mom, Kliff or Holgo?
Seth: My mom would have nothing to do with either of them and knowing my mom, she would probably end up asking why they aren't married. Such nice boys, why can't you get married? Why can't you find someone? Is there something wrong with you? You get the idea, especially as a guy that didn't get married until he was 30. It was good times.
Matt: Who would win in a fight between Voltron and the original Power Rangers Mega Zord?
Seth: Easy. Voltron and it isn't even close (Power Rangers was a bit before my time), but if you wanted to ask me about G-Force: Guardians of Space, I'd take G-Force
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Voltron ties it up and it's 2-2.
Thanks again to Seth from Viva the Matadors for taking the time to help us preview this weekend's game. You can follow him on Twitter @SethC_J and be sure to check out VtM for more Raider coverage.