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Red Raiders Must Rely On Defense Vs. WVU

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The big play of the first quarter came when Patrick Mahomes tossed a 44-yard bomb to Jonathan Giles that tied the game at 7-7. The West Virginia Mountaineers ground game is averaging 187.2 yards per contest, and Justin Crawford leads the way with 331 yards and two touchdowns.

26 - Former WVU kicker Josh Lambert - West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday he left the team - had 26 field goals from 40 yards or longer for the Mountaineers in his career.

West Virginia has a very physical defense like Kansas State and Kingsbury said they will have to be on top of their game this year defensively, because last year Tech did not execute defensively and the West Virginia offense took advantage.

We know West Virginia is suited to play in the Big 12's blink-and-miss-a-score-type style.

Holgorsen went to say that establishing Skyler Howard in the run game was a part of the game plan and that Texas Tech was respecting the backside allowing Howard to have success early with quarterback draws which helped the offense utilize him more. However, I would take the "over", which now stands at 83, as points for either team shouldn't be much of an issue. The defensive line needs to get a little pressure on Mahomes, the linebackers need to stay in their correct gaps while also being able to get in the backfield when they do decide to blitz and the secondary must not let any big plays happen behind them. Nic Shimonek's touchdown pass in relief wasn't almost enough to extend the Red Raiders' NCAA-record streak of nine home games scoring at least 50 points. By Big 12 standards, that's not bad.

After passing for 4,653 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2015-16 in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's high-octane Air Raid Offense, and 2,274 yards, 20 touchdowns and ten interceptions is the 6'3, 230-pound Mahomes destined to be another Big 12 quarterback bust in the NFL?

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Last year's Mountaineers began 3-0, while the 2016 team is 4-0.

In order to bring fans a Homecoming win against the No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers, Kingsbury said the team will have to be more disciplined.

"At some point we are going to have at least two of them on the field at the same time and maybe all three", continued the running backs coach.

"We've played great defense against these guys the last two years", Holgorsen stated.

West Virginia, the Big 12's fifth-ranked rushing offense (187.2 ypg), will face the league's sixth-ranked rushing defense (179.4 ypg). The Red Raiders are a perennial sieve, while the Mountaineers are getting solid play from the likes of DE Noble Nwachukwu, SLB Justin Arndt and CB Antonio Crawford.

WVU has fared well enough against Texas Tech's fast tempo to win the past two meetings, each by less than six points. So if they want to beat West Virginia, they have to get better in the penalty category. But in the second half Mahomes, who has an injured shoulder, did not look like the same player. They're not going to just sit back and watch you sack him. Texas Tech is 100th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game (265.6) and WVU averages 318 passing yards per game. The Mountaineers entered the week ranked No. 8 nationally in pass-efficiency defense.

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