The Times West Virginian

Sports

October 8, 2012

Will Texas Tech be trap for WVU?

MORGANTOWN — Caution! Speed trap ahead!

West Virginia has the speed and Texas Tech supplies the trap next Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

If ever there were a game that looked like a trap, it is Texas Tech.

Consider the factors:

1. The Red Raiders have just had their unbeaten dreams broken by losing convincingly to Oklahoma, 41-20. That will make them mad.

2. They lost at home, and now get to defend the home field again with a partial crowd.

3. West Virginia comes off a hard-fought, emotionally draining road victory at Texas, 48-45.

4. The game lies between Texas and Kansas State, the Wildcats probably representing the game they have to win at home to have any chance at a national championship and Big 12 championship.

5. It is a homecoming of sorts for WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen, who was an assistant there to Mike Leach for seven years. It comes with all the media and social distractions homecomings come with for any coach.

All of this makes it a difficult preparation for the Mountaineers.

Holgorsen tries to battle this in a number of ways. To begin with, he tries to take pressure off by making football fun. While his team works hard, it works quickly and it doesn’t come with all the pressures that some other coaches put on their players.

Secondly, they prepare the same way for every game so that they cannot differentiate the pressures from one game to the next.

Third, and perhaps most important, is Holgorsen always keeps the focus directly on the task at home, be it a game or what is going on during a game. Rest assured Texas had not been discussed before Texas week and there will be no looking ahead to Kansas State allowed during this week.

You can read all this into remarks Geno Smith had following the Texas game.

“We win as a team or lose as a team. That’s the way we are. We might as well have fun,” Smith said.

Because of that, their approach within the game is the same as their approach before the game.

“It’s not about the last play. It’s about the next play,” he said.

And so, if he gets knocked around as he did at times by Texas, he shakes it off immediately.

“I’ve been in games where I was hit a lot more. I just get up and go on,” he said about that.

And so it is from contest to contest. You can’t beat Kansas State during the week you play Texas Tech, but you can lose to Texas Tech during that week if you look ahead.

Tech is not a team to look past either. It has a solid quarterback in Seth Doege, who is the third ranked QB in the Big 12 behind Smith and Nick Florence of Baylor. He averages 278.4 yards a game and has thrown 15 TDs.

Also, if anyone is capable of slowing the WVU offense in this conference, it is Texas Tech, whose image has changed under Tommy Tuberville from the wide open passing team Holgorsen once coached to a solid defensive team that leads the Big 12 in both rushing and passing defense, to say nothing of total defense.

They give up only 210 yards in a game and will be facing a team that had its running back gain 207 in his last game in Andrew Buie, and WVU is a passing team.

Certainly WVU is the better team, but do not forget this is the same school that was a 24-point favorite over Pittsburgh in 2007 and lost the game, 13-9, and its coach.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013

    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van.
    It’s fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Mountaineers open practice with different feel

    West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld that should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    July 31, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU men’s basketball non-conference schedule announced

    West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced the 2014-15 men’s basketball non-conference schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings