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Staring Down The Musket St...The Texas Tech Red Raiders: A Q&A With Viva The Matadors

The Mountaineers host Texas Tech at high noon tomorrow for an absolutely critically match up for both this season and for Dana Holgorsen's future at West Virginia. Ryan Smith from Viva the Matadors joined me to discuss the game.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan from Viva the Matadors was kind enough to answer some questions about the 'Eers and Raiders. Let's get started, shall we?

Matt: Give me a bit of a summary of how Texas Tech's season has gone so far. What have been the major strengths and weaknesses?

Ryan: It has been a season of ups and downs. We've been trying to get over our defensive struggles and there has been improvement, but not enough to stifle our fan base. We rolled into Fayetteville and took care of what was supposed to be a pretty good Arkansas team this year, came one play from beating TCU and then had blowout losses against Baylor, OU and OSU. Don't make me start rationalizing too much... needless to say, we need to be over our November struggles and win out to get the good vibes flowing again in Lubbock.

Matt: Kingsbury is 17-17 thus far at Tech. Is his seat getting warm in terms of making the leap from average-good to great? Are Tech fans still confident he can make the leap?

Ryan: It is getting warm, but only from the fans. The Admin is staunchly behind Kingsbury. He's a victim of his own success. When he started 7-0 a lot of fans thought it would be easy. Who knows maybe he did too, but the damage done to the program by the last regime is still being dealt with and we should see what Kingsbury can really do next year. We all know he can be great. He just needs a little more time. Everyone has seen flashes of what he can do, just imagine when he puts it all together.

Matt: Are the problems Tech is having on defense more scheme or talent related?

Ryan: A bit of both, but more on the talent side. I think the defense this year is very talented, they just don't play as a unit. Because of that, schemes break down and players are exposed. David Gibbs, our new DC, has come in and done what he said he'd do which is force turnovers. He didn't promise anything more than that. He has the pedigree and the resume and with this and the last recruiting class stacked on defense, we hope that those issues are resolved quickly.

Matt: Outside of the household names, who should WVU fans be looking out for on Saturday?

Ryan: We've been having some issues at outside receiver and the staff is going to be changing up the starter and rotation on Saturday. Look for true freshman Johnathan Giles and Tony Brown to make an appearance. It should be the first glimpse of some players you'll see the next 3 years.

On defense, keep an eye out for Jah'Shawn Johnson at safety. He's a household name to us, but as another true freshman he's one to look out for. He's the one that was called for that bogus targeting call in the OSU game last week. He's a ball hawk so watch out.

Matt: How does this one shake out?

Ryan: I originally had West Virginia winning this in the pre-season predictions, but for the first time this year I'm going to change my prediction. West Virginia has 4 games remaining after this, Tech only has 2. Tech needs this badly to become bowl eligible and take any pressure Kingsbury or this team has on them going into Senior Day next week. I think Tech wins 48-38. Save for 2012, our games have been really entertaining and close, so I hope that trend continues.

Matt: *Bonus* Who would win in a race between Sonic the Hedgehog and The Flash? AND NO YOU CAN'T SAY JAKEEM GRANT.

Ryan: Better question... who wins in a race between Jakeem Grant and Tavon Austin?

Thanks again to Ryan from Viva the Matadors for taking the time to help us preview this weekend's game.