Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

September 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm.

No. 12 Mountaineers ready for shootout with No. 25 Texas Tech

There will be a lot of offense on display when No. 12 West Virginia travels to the South Plains of Texas to battle fellow offensive juggernaut and No. 25 Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon in Lubbock, Texas.

There’s plenty of familiarity between the two schools and its coaching staffs, so don’t expect the Red Raiders to show West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen anything he hasn’t seen before. The Mountaineers have usually been able to one-up Texas Tech, winning five of the seven games all-time against the Red Raiders, including two of the three contests the teams have played in windy West Texas.

“We’re excited about going to Lubbock again,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “Obviously, I’m pretty familiar with things, how they work out there, how they operate, what we’re getting ourselves into. Our guys will be ready to go.”

The Mountaineers (3-0) charge into the game on the heels of a 35-6 win over always-tough Kansas State in which Heisman-hopeful quarterback Will Grier threw for 356 yards and five touchdowns.

Grier’s big-game experience will be a huge factor this week, in a game that’s expected to be an offensive shootout.

“Grier is doing it better than any of the ones that I’ve been around, and I’ve been around some pretty good ones,” Holgorsen said. “He’s doing as good a job as I’ve seen. We’re giving him specific looks, and he’s learning from it. We’re doing a good job with our play calling, and our formations and the game prep and the cadence with how we do things.

“Will has complete freedom, and he’s doing a good job with it. It’s good to be me having him. We’re going to keep training the rest of them, too. No matter who it is, you have to function at a high level. He’s doing a good job right now.”

West Virginia’s pass defense will be tested, mightily, from the Texas Tech attack that averages 436 yards per game through the air and dismantled No. 15 Oklahoma State 41-17 on the road last Saturday.

“Hopefully, we can pressure the quarterback,” Holgorsen said. “They’re doing a really good job of getting things out quick, and it makes it hard to pressure the quarterback when that’s going on. So, we have to take some of the easy stuff away from them, and I’m anxious to watch this (defensive) line. Let’s see if we’re as good as we think we are right there.”