TEXAS TECH vs WEST VIRGINIA BREAKDOWN
This Breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte.
Texas Tech hits the road to Morgantown this weekend to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia is coming off a heart-breaking loss to #12 Baylor last week, while the Red Raiders were regrouping/getting healthy during their bye week. This meeting marks the ninth game between the two schools and the eighth since West Virginia joined the Big 12. West Virginia leads the all-time series 6-2 and are 2-1 against Tech at home. This road trip to Morgantown is very rare for Tech. This is only the ninth time in program history where the Red Raiders have traveled north of Oklahoma during the month of November. Traditionally, Texas Tech has played games against in-state rivals with additional trips to the state of Oklahoma and Arkansas (Southwest Conference era) during the final month of the regular season. Texas Tech is 2-6 all-time in games played north of Oklahoma during November with losses in each of their last three trips. The Red Raiders' two lone victories came at Iowa State in 2014 and at Wake Forest in 1941. This will be the fifth time in the past six years the Red Raiders have played north of Oklahoma during November as the Red Raiders fell at Kansas State a year ago, at Iowa State in 2014 and 2016 and West Virginia in 2015. This should be an interesting game Saturday.
West Virginia Mountaineers 3-5; Big 12 (1-4)
West Virginia returns home this weekend after a heart-breaking loss last Halloween against #12 Baylor 17-14. West Virginia showed up to play and held the Bears to a 7-0 lead going into halftime. On the opening kickoff, West Virginia made a statement and returned it for a TD. It was game on from there. Baylor responded with a TD of their own on a 41-yard strike to Mimms towards the end of the 3rd quarter. West Virginia then tied it up with 9:45 left in the 4th quarter, followed by a demoralizing drive by the Bears with 6:30 left in the game. Baylor ran the Mountaineers into submission with a 38 yard field goal with 1:00 left and West Virginia failed to cross the 50 as time expired. The major takeaway from that game was the performance from West Virginia. Neal Brown took over the job from Dana Holgersen and they are rebuilding, but Brown had a foundation setting performance for WV going forward. They took calculated and uncalculated risks and went 2-3 on fourth down and were able to convert on trick plays (end arounds, flea-flickers, and a couple of reverses). West Virginia made little mistakes and failed to capitalize on some opportunities which ultimately cost them at the end. They lead the conference in dropped passes and are ninth in that category. Defensively they held Charlie Brewer to only 253 yds through the air but gave up almost 150 yds rushing. Led by their nose guard, the Mountaineers managed to sack Brewer eight times. They matched the Bears’ discipline for most of the game and held them into check. Those mental mistakes are what cost them in the end. DO NOT TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED. West Virginia maybe at the bottom of the conference, but their only blow out loss was to Iowa State. They have been in every game they have played thus far. It is hard to tell which Mountaineer team will show up on Saturday.
Texas Tech Red Raiders 3-5; Big 12 (1-4)
Texas Tech hits the road to Morgantown this weekend coming off the bye to take of the Mountaineers. As previously mentioned, Tech hasn’t faired well in the previous meeting against WVU since 2013, but Tech is due for a victory. Three out of the previous four games have been close affairs, 42-35 shootout loss last year, 46-35 loss in 2017, and 35-32 loss in 2015. The Red Raiders are coming off a bye week. During the week they were able to get healthy, touch up recruiting, regroup, and learn a lot about themselves. Alan Bowman and Maverick are getting X-Rayed this week and are close to being back. Armond Shyne is out for the year due to a rib injury but could be back if we are able to reach a bowl game. Desmond Smith is out for another week as well. Both Rigdon and Mannix are back to where they were before they got banged up, which will help the offense this week for sure. Coach Wells has some good history coming out of bye weeks after a loss. At Utah State he was 7-0 in those games until this year where we lost to OU. Mental preparation will be the key to success this week. How Tech is mentally once leaving the hotel room will set the tone for the game. Tech and West Virginia are both trying to reach bowl eligibility and this game is a must for both teams. Defensively, Tech has to contain Austin Kendall, the QB, and their two receivers. Austin can be mobile when he wants, and the receivers are excellent route runners. Containing these guys will be big this week. If Tech studied the Baylor film, that is the blueprint for how to get that accomplished. Our chances this week our good. This game should be interesting.
This week Well’s recruiting staff has been busy offering players this week. First off, we have Devin Drew a Defensive Lineman from Iowa Western Community College. Second, we have Jacob Rodriguez a 4-star QB from Rider High School in Wichita Falls, TX. Next, we have Chris Murray DE from Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, TX. Finally, we have Isaac Vaha ATH from Lone Peak High School in Highland, UT.
We’ll end this week’s recruiting roundup with the recruiting spotlight and this week we are focusing on 2020 commits Tahj Brooks and Nate Floyd.
Tahj Brooks, committed 6/22/2019, is a 3-star, 5-9, 212 lbs, RB at Manor High School. Brooks has earned 1st team all-district selection as a sophomore and junior. From 2016-2018 he’s rushed 356 times for 2610 yards and 34 TDs. He is currently the only running back in the 2020 class. he chose Tech over TCU, Iowa St., Arizona, and 18 other schools.
Nate Floyd, committed 10/10/2019, is a 3-star, 6-0, 176 lbs., CB at A&M Consolidated. Floyd is listed as being both a football and track and field athlete. Floyd 1st-team all district honors as a sophomore and junior (for CB and KR). In spring 2019 he was a Texas 5A regional qualifier in triple jump. I could only find stats for 2017 where he had 35 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 6 pass break ups, and 6 interceptions. Floyd chose Tech over Arizona, Houston, Kansas St., and 11 other schools.
Saddle Tramp News
Basketball season is officially underway and things are already getting exciting! The Red Raider basketball team kicked off the season against Eastern Illinois and picked up the win against the Panthers! The crowd was on fire the entire game! As a Saddle Tramp, that was the most exciting home opener I have ever attended. We can't wait for Saturday when the team takes on Bethune Cookman University at 7 p.m. in the USA.
With the football team being away this week, it makes three weeks in a row where not much has been going on. We're getting restless. We can't wait to get back into the thick of things with the wrapping of Will Rogers and Soapsuds and next week's game against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Carol of Lights is quickly approaching. If you've never seen us light up the campus with our flare walk or an entire crowd of people singing a few Christmas Carols, I HIGHLY recommend attending the event. The 61st Annual Carol of Lights will be on Tuesday December 3, 2019.