As one of the biggest surprise teams in the nation in 2013, the Texas Tech Red Raiders have begun the season with little to no attention. However, after a 6-0 start to the season, the Red Raiders are becoming one of the most targeted teams, in terms of attention, in the Big 12. These players aren’t used to playing with a target on their backs, so let’s see how they handle it.
With a 3-3 record, the West Virginia Mountaineers have not played well this season — especially when they had one of the best offenses in the nation a season ago. The Mountaineers are 1-2 this season against ranked opponents and will be looking to take down Texas Tech at home for the Red Raiders’ first loss of the year.
Led by a freshman quarterback, Texas Tech has a bright future ahead of it. Baker Mayfield is one of the most talented underclassmen in the nation and that has been evidenced by his 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns in the five games he has played this season. However, he has not thrown a touchdown pass since Sept. 12 and fellow freshman quarterback Davis Webb has stepped in for the injured Mayfield in recent weeks. Webb has 965 yards and nine touchdowns of his own — both quarterbacks combine for the third-best passing offense in the nation. Jace Amaro has been both gunslingers’ favorite target, catching 47 passes for 606 yards and a score.
West Virginia had given Florida State Seminoles transfer Clint Trickett an opportunity to start, but he has seemingly lost any likelihood of playing in the future games this season, completing just 41 percent of his passes for 470 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games. Junior quarterback Paul Millard has seemingly retained his job, passing for 581 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception all while completing over 60 percent of his passes in four games. Charles Sims leads the run game with 480 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries, but the Mountaineers rank 85th nationally in rushing yards per game.
Defensively, the Mountaineers allow 28.5 points per game as well as 433.2 yards per game which rank 79th and 93rd in the nation, respectively. On the other side of the field, the Red Raiders rank 15th in the nation with 17.3 points against per game as well as ranking 21st in the nation with 344.8 yards allowed per game.
Texas Tech will travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 19. The game will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 1.
PREDICTION: Texas Tech 33, West Virginia 26