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
  • NMHS #28 PITCH -TS.jpg Pitching pushes North past Monarchs in game two of doubleheader: PHOTOS

    North Marion coach Vic Seccuro wanted to send a message to his team, telling them to focus, bear down and grit out a victory.
    After falling 13-8 to Braxton County in game one of a Saturday doubleheader, the Huskies bounced back to beat John Marshall, 4-2, Saturday at North Marion High School.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • EFHS #21-OG #11-TS.jpg Bees split with Oak Glen on Senior Day: PHOTOS

    Twice on Saturday the East Fairmont softball team found itself leading Oak Glen 3-1 in the seventh inning.
    The situation was the same in both games of the doubleheader. The way the Bees’ handled it, though, was quiet different.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • NMHS #14, 21-RC #14-TS.jpg Lady Huskies fall to Ritchie County late, 5-4: PHOTOS

    It couldn’t have happened the way it did even if No. 6 Ritchie County had drawn it up.
    The bases were loaded. There were no outs. And by a swing of bad luck a fly ball was dropped in the outfield as two runs came across to score, propelling the Rebels to a 5-4 win over No. 9 North Marion in the final game of the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School Saturday.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • Blue Jackets edge Pens, 4-3, in double OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

    April 20, 2014

  • Braun homers twice, rallies Brewers over Pirates, 8-7

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 20, 2014

  • NMHS #14 hit.jpg North Marion goes 2-for-2; Fairmont Senior 0-for-2 in tournament

    A day after an 11-0 mercy-rule victory at Philip Barbour, the North Marion Huskies were at it again.
    Chelsi Latocha threw three no-hit innings, Shelby King drove in five runs in the first inning and the Huskies rolled to a 20-0 victory over the winless Fairmont Senior Polar Bears in the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Brewers’ Lohse beats Pirates again

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 19, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos