Game Preview: West Virginia

Game Preview: West Virginia

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LUBBOCK, Texas – Following its second open weekend of the 2019 season, Texas Tech returns to action Saturday when the Red Raiders travel to Morgantown for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff against West Virginia.
 
Tech head coach Matt Wells is 7-1 over his career in games immediately following an open weekend with the lone loss coming earlier this year at then-No. 6 Oklahoma.
 
Texas Tech will aim for a strong month of November in order to advance to its 39th bowl appearance in school history as the Red Raiders will need three wins over their final four games to extend their season.
 
This weekend's matchup features a pair of familiar faces for both schools as West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was Texas Tech's offensive coordinator from 2010-12, while Red Raider defensive coordinator Keith Patterson held the same position with the Mountaineers from 2012-13.
 
The game will broadcast to a national audience on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins on the call alongside analyst Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman reporting from the sideline. Fans can also find the game on any streaming device by using the ESPN app.
 
The Texas Tech Sports Network will also broadcast the game over 46 affiliates throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico as Brian Jensen will have the call alongside analyst John Harris, sideline reporter Chris Level and engineer Steve Pitts. The radio broadcast can also be heard XM channel 387, Sirius channel 113 or via the TuneIn app.
 
SERIES HISTORY

  • Texas Tech and West Virginia will meet for the ninth time Saturday as the Mountaineers lead the overall series with a 6-2 advantage. This will be the eighth time the two schools have met since West Virginia joined the Big 12 prior to the 2012 season.
  • West Virginia has won each of the past five meetings against the Red Raiders after holding on for a 42-34 victory a year ago in Lubbock. The losing streak comes after Texas Tech won the first two games after West Virginia's entrance to the Big 12 in 2012.
  • The Red Raiders are 1-2 all-time in Morgantown as Texas Tech topped the Mountaineers, 32-27, in their first ever visit to Milan Puskar Stadium in 2013. West Virginia claimed a 31-26 victory in 2015 and then erased an 18-point deficit in 2017 with 29 unanswered points for a 46-35 win.

RED RAIDERS FOLLOWING BYE WEEKS

  • Texas Tech enters this weekend having won each of its last four games against unranked foes in weeks following a bye. The Red Raiders previously went on the road to defeat Texas in 2015 and TCU a year ago after a week off and then Kansas in 2016 and Arizona State in 2017 at home.
  • As a head coach, Matt Wells is 7-1 over his career in games immediately following an open week with the lone loss coming earlier this year at No. 6 Oklahoma. He was a perfect 7-0 during his six seasons at Utah State, which included a pair of road wins at in-state rival BYU.
  • This past weekend marked Texas Tech's second open week of the 2019 season. The Red Raiders had not previously experienced two open dates on a schedule since 2014.

NOVEMBER TRIP NORTH RARE FOR TEXAS TECH

  • Saturday's game in Morgantown will mark only the ninth time in program history where the Red Raiders have played a game north of the state 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.

TALKING TAKEAWAYS

  • After a slow start in the takeaway category, Texas Tech now sits at plus-five in the turnover margin, which ranks tied for 20th in the country and tied for the Big 12 lead. The Red Raiders ranked 90th in the FBS in the turnover margin a year ago, a steady improvement under first-year head coach Matt Wells and his staff.
  • Texas Tech is plus-six in the turnover margin during Big 12 play alone, which leads all league teams entering this weekend.
  • Texas Tech is tied for ninth in the FBS and first in the Big 12 with its 11 interceptions, the majority of which are the result of Douglas Coleman III, who enters the weekend as the FBS leader with seven interceptions. He and Darcel McBath (2008) are the only Red Raiders in the Big 12 era to pick off seven passes in a season.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION CONTINUES TO POUR IN FOR BROOKS

  • Jordyn Brooks was recognized over the last two weeks as a Bednarik Award and Butkus Award semifinalist. The senior has proven he deserves to be among the nation's top linebackers as he ranks among the nation leaders with 87 tackles (51 solo) through eight games. Brooks enters this weekend among the national leaders in several defensive categories, ranking second in tackles for a loss per game (1.9), sixth in solo tackles per game (6.4) and seventh in total tackles per game (10.9).
  • Brooks leads the Big 12 with his 87 total tackles, four more than any other conference player entering this weekend. He also controls the league high with 15.5 tackles for a loss this season.
  • Brooks already has 15.5 tackles for a loss this year, the majority of which came at Arizona (3.0) and against Oklahoma State (4.0). He has already surpassed his career total entering this season as he combined for 13.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in each of his first three seasons as a Red Raider.
  • Brooks' 15.5 tackles for a loss this year mark the most by a Red Raider since Brandon Sharpe totaled 18.0 during the 2009 season. In addition, his total is the most for any Red Raider linebacker dating back to the start of the 2000 campaign.

TEAM NOTES...

  • Texas Tech has been impressive over the opening 15 minutes this season as the Red Raiders are outscoring opponents, 51-24, in the first quarter. Tech has shut out opponents in the first quarter in six of eight games thus far as Oklahoma and Iowa State are the only two schools who have found the scoreboard this season.
  • Even more impressive, Texas Tech has forced either a 3-and-out or a takeaway on the opening drive of six of eight games so far.
  • Heading into the final four games of the regular season, Texas Tech is only surrendering 29.4 points per game, which would be the Red Raiders' lowest clip since 2009 if the season ended today.
  • On the opposite end, Texas Tech is averaging 30.8 points per game, which, if the season ended today, would mark the 19th-consecutive year the Red Raiders have averaged at least 30 points per game.
  • Texas Tech has converted 92 percent of its red zone appearances (33-of-36) into points this season, which ranks 22nd nationally. The Red Raiders have turned 21 of those red zone appearances into touchdowns.
  • Texas Tech has given up only 11 sacks this season despite being one of the most active teams in the country through the air. The Red Raiders have attempted 356 passes this season, which ranks as the sixth-highest number in the FBS. Tech is currently tied for 22nd nationally and ranks second in the Big 12 by allowing only 1.38 sacks per game heading into its trip to West Virginia. Washington State is the only other school besides Tech to have at least 300 pass attempts and rank in the top 25 for fewest sacks allowed this season.
  • The Red Raiders are currently averaging 173.0 rushing yards per game, which, if the season ended today, would rank as the fourth-highest clip during the Big 12 era and the second-highest average since Texas Tech moved to a spread offense in 2000. Tech averaged 273.2 yards on the ground in 1996, 201.7 yards in 1998 and 191.3 yards per game in 2015.

--TECH--

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