The Times West Virginian


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 or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
  • Makeover complete, Steelers ready for resurgence

    The faces Ike Taylor grew so accustomed to seeing line up alongside him over the past decade have disappeared.

    July 24, 2014

  • Timberwolves weighing options with Kevin Love

    The summer of LeBron has quickly turned into the summer of Love. When it ends is anybody’s guess.

    July 24, 2014

  • East's Bolander signs with Garrett

    For East Fairmont’s James Bolander, deciding between playing soccer and baseball at the collegiate level was no easy task.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jones uses his attitude to lead Polar Bears

    When you look around the football field come August, you’ll see plenty of new faces for the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears. But there will be at least one very familiar face.
    TJ Jones is one of just a handful of seniors on this year’s Fairmont Senior team, and he’s hoping to go out on top.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • FSU football season tickets available

    Season ticket packages and VIP parking for the 2014 Fairmont State University football season are now available for purchase.
    Several options are available, including the opportunity to purchase a piece of Fairmont State history.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers, 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
    Harrison’s two-run double down the left field line capped a four-run outburst in the first against Haren (8-8).

    July 24, 2014

  • Berner, Hess lead W.Va. Open

    Threatening weather did not strike Wednesday, and it was a cool, breezy start to the 81st West Virginia Open played on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos