WVU faces Texas Tech to try to salvage disappointing season
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Texas Tech and West Virginia have lumbered through sour seasons under first-year coaches.
One of them will get a sorely needed boost and end a losing streak when the Red Raiders (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) and Mountaineers (3-5, 1-4) meet Saturday.
The winner will prop up fading bowl hopes. The loser joins idle Kansas (3-6, 1-5) in the league cellar.
Texas Tech has dropped three in a row, including narrow losses to Kansas and Baylor.
“We need to find a way to win close games here in the month of November,” Texas Tech coach Matt Wells said.
The Mountaineers, who are playing their first home game in a month, have lost four straight but are coming off one of their best defensive efforts of the season.
“All teams are judged and kind of remembered for how they finish. This is our opportunity,” said West Virginia coach Neal Brown, who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Texas Tech from 2010-12.
Brown will need his offense to step it up. The Mountaineers were limited to 219 total yards at Baylor, with 83 coming on one pass play. Only two FBS teams average worse than West Virginia’s 78.9 rushing yards.
West Virginia has scored a Big-12 worst 22 touchdowns. Texas Tech is next at 29.
On defense, the Mountaineers have been picked apart by mobile quarterbacks this season, and they will see a familiar face in Texas Tech’s Jett Duffey, who ran for 86 yards last year in a 42-34 loss to the Mountaineers. The junior has amped up his passing game, averaging 324 yards in his last four games with nine touchdowns and two interceptions.
“He’s been very stingy with the football and given us a chance in every game, really, and I think that’s the mark of a good quarterback,” Wells said.
Both teams must win three of their final four games to become bowl eligible.