This Saturday, West Virginia will look to bounce back from a tough loss against Oklahoma as they host Texas Tech at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The Mountaineers (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) come into this game fresh off of a heartbreaking loss against Oklahoma. West Virginia was in the lead for the majority of the game, with Oklahoma kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired.
The West Virginia defense will look to continue on their performance from last weekend. The Mountaineer defense limited the Sooner offense to only 57 yards rushing, and 256 yards passing. The Mountaineers finished with four sacks and six tackles for loss.
Head coach Neal Brown said he was proud of the way his defense played against Oklahoma, adding they have built a defensive identity at West Virginia.
“I think we have established a standard here of how we play defense,” Brown said.
That standard of defense will certainly be tested this weekend against the Red Raiders. Texas Tech’s (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) starting quarterback Tyler Shough suffered broke his collarbone in their 70-35 loss to Texas on Saturday. Backup quarterback Henry Colombi will get the start at quarterback and will try to follow up last season’s performance against the Mountaineers.
Last season, Colombi completed 22 of his attempted 28 passes, finishing with 169 yards and one touchdown through the air, while also rushing for 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a 34-27 win against the Mountaineers last season.
“The quarterback that started against us and really hurt as last year, extended plays [and] he’ll start again this week,” Brown said.
In addition, Brown says Texas Tech wide receiver Erik Ezukanma has the ability to make a lot of big plays and is the player to watch on the Red Raider offense. Ezukanma has 23 receptions for 406 yards and one touchdown on the season so far.
“The number 13 receiver is a big time player. He’s really good and they do a good job getting him the ball,” Brown said.
The West Virginia offense will continue to fine tune their rotating quarterback system. Last week both Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene saw substantial playing time. Doege finished with 160 yards passing and a touchdown, while Greene rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown, but was the go-to guy for many drives.
Doege and Greene were able to lead West Virginia to a touchdown on their first drive of the game, with Doege starting the game and Greene finishing the drive as the Mountaineers got closer to the end endzone.
Expect a similar look to that drive going forward for the West Virginia offense, as that is the type of production Brown wants to see going forward.
“I think [moving forward] it’s going to be like [the first drive],” Brown said. “I think that for where we’re at and what we need to do it’s going to be a mixture of both.”
The Texas Tech defense played well through three games, before giving up 70 points on the road against Texas last week.
In their first three games, Texas Tech recorded eight sacks, while recording six turnovers in those games as well.
“Defensively, they played well through three games,” Brown said. “If you look at Texas, I think it’s a little bit of an anomaly in my opinion.”
The Mountaineers hope their offense will continue to get better with this two-quarterback system, while the Red Raiders hope to beat the Mountaineers for a third straight year.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.
(Top Photo: Bryan Doughtery)