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Know Your Opponent: A Statistical Breakdown Of The Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Mountaineer defense has a tough task ahead of them, and will need to force Texas Tech to keep the ball on the ground

NCAA Football: Kansas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are feared for their pass heavy offense. Shutting down the Red Raiders game through the air is the key to victory this weekend for West Virginia.

Texas Tech ranks first nationally in eight different offensive categories. They are as follows: percentage of plays per game that result in a first down or touchdown, passing attempts per game, passing completions per game, passing touchdowns per game, passing yards per game, passing first downs per game, first downs per game and total touchdowns per game.

Texas Tech ranks second nationally in five different offensive categories as well. They are as follows: third down conversion percentage per game, offensive explosiveness, power ranking offense, scoring offense, and total yards per game.

Between them, the Red Raiders offense ranks either first or second in the nation in 13 different categories. All of which are passing related.

The Texas Tech run game is almost non-existent. They rank dead last in Division I football in rushing attempts per game averaging just 29 attempts a game. They rank 121st (or third worst) in the nation in rushing yards per game averaging just 105.8 yards a game on the ground.

Forcing the Red Raiders to keep the ball on the ground will have to be a point of emphasis for the Mountaineers. TTU has already thrown for 2,720 yards on the season compared to just 529 yards on the ground.

West Virginia is also going to want to try and keep TTU from converting on third down, which they do 53.12% (second best percentage in the nation) of the time, and force the Red Raiders to have to convert on fourth down. TTU ranks 123rd (second to last) in the nation in fourth down conversion percentage converting on just 14.29% of their fourth down attempts.

The WVU cornerbacks and safeties are going to have their work cut out for them on Saturday. If they are up to the task, they’re going to have to force Texas Tech to keep the ball on the ground, and chances are, that’s the best way for the Mountaineers to come away with a win on the road in Lubbock, Texas.