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Texas Tech vs WVU: Stats For Hope & Despair

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This game is pivotal for both head coach Dana Holgorsen and the team. A win and the season can get back on track. A loss and the search for a new head coach begins while the basketball season cannot start soon enough.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In September WVU looked like world beaters. They were called things like "dark horse contenders" for the Big 12 title and possessed "the best defense in the Big 12". Memes were created and fans were enjoying the euphoria that comes with winning. In October WVU experienced the lows. The first Big 12 team to ever begin conference play with four ranked teams in succession. The first team ever to face back to back top 5 teams on the road. The loss of All-American safety Karl Joseph to a non-contact knee injury was more insult to injury. WVU went winless and now the fans are calling for the head coaches job. After years of winning Big East titles, another year of slightly above .500 does not sit well with many.

Texas Tech may be the most critical game in Dana Holgorsen's 5-year tenure with West Virginia. A win gets him back to .500 with the remaining schedule against 4 straight teams under .500. A loss puts the team 2 games under .500 and needing to win 3 of 4 just to get to bowl eligibility. So given the stakes for this Saturday, is there any hope or despair for this team?

Hope for WVU

This stat was taken before Saturday's game against Oklahoma State. Mahomes threw another 4 touchdowns but also 2 interceptions Saturday bringing his TD/INT ratio to 19/3 at home. But it does bode well for the Mountaineers that Patrick Mahomes will be playing in Morgantown, where gametime temps are expected to be in the 40s versus the 75+ degree weather they are currently experiencing in Lubbock, Texas. Not only that but WVU has only given up 56 points in four games at Mountaineer Field this year with 11 interceptions. Mahomes can certainly sling the ball around the field but he is a different player this year when playing on the road. If WVU is going to get back on track, it will be partly because the road version of Mahomes showed up and not the assassin that he is at home.

Mahomes on the road has faced: Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma. In three of those games (Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma) he only threw 1 touchdown. Oklahoma is a top 10 passing defense in terms of opponent passer rating but Arkansas is 91st and Kansas is 122nd out of 128th. This is an epidemic by Mahomes that the Mountaineers need to exploit.

TTU played 5 games this month. @ Baylor, Iowa State, @ Kansas, @Oklahoma, Oklahoma State. Baylor, OU & OSU all hit at least 63 points against Texas Tech. Iowa State scored 31 and Kansas scored 20. Iowa State is the 72nd ranked scoring offense and Kansas is the 122nd. Both scored above their average against Texas Tech. WVU is ranked 46th ranked scoring offense at 31 points per game. If the offense can't get on track against Texas Tech, then serious problems are afoot in Morgantown.

WVU in Despair

In four Big Twelve games, West Virginia has failed to crack 30 points three times (@ Oklahoma, vs Oklahoma State, @ TCU) and scored 38 against Baylor. That 38 should come with a huge asterisk as Shelton Gibson ran back a kickoff near the end of the game. The offense only generated 31 points. Texas Tech gives up over 40 points per game. The requirement of the offense to generate points consistently in this game is imperative.

If nothing else, Texas Tech is familiar in the form of challenges the Mountaineers have already encountered. They’ve played the teams ranked Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 7 nationally in scoring offense, Nos. 4, 8, 10 and 14 in passing offense and Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 15 in total offense.

Texas Tech is fourth, second and second in those categories.

After non-conference play, WVU ranked No. 14 in scoring offense, No. 18 in passing offense and No. 12 in total offense. After four Big 12 games, the numbers are down to 48, 43 and 30, and the failure of the offense to keep up on the scoreboard is as much to blame for the struggles as the defense’s inability to keep opponents off the scoreboard.

Both shortcomings will remain critical against Texas Tech.

If  nothing else, Texas Tech is familiar in the form of challenges the  Mountaineers have already encountered. They’ve played the teams ranked  Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 7 nationally in scoring offense, Nos. 4, 8, 10 and 14  in passing offense and Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 15 in total offense.
Texas Tech is fourth, second and second in those categories.After  non-conference play, WVU ranked No. 14 in scoring offense, No. 18 in  passing offense and No. 12 in total offense. After four Big 12 games,  the numbers are down to 48, 43 and 30, and the failure of the offense to  keep up on the scoreboard is as much to blame for the struggles as the  defense’s inability to keep opponents off the scoreboard.
Both shortcomings will remain critical against Texas Tech. - WV Gazette-Mail

Texas Tech marks the last great Big 12 offense the Mountaineers will face this season. The remaining opponents are all near the bottom half in the country in scoring offense. Yet, WVU comes into this game injured on defense. They've lost Karl Joseph weeks ago. Terrel Chestnut has a injured shoulder and will not be the same for the rest of the season. KJ Dillon injured his shoulder against TCU. WVU played Isaiah Bruce, Nana Kyeremeh and Marvin Gross Jr. at different times due to injuries. With the defense banged up and now undermanned, the offense will need to show up to win this game.