Texas Tech hits the country roads this weekend for a game with West Virginia in Morgantown on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on Fox Sports 1. Here are some matchups to keep an eye on.
Texas Tech vs. West Virginia on 3rd Down
The Red Raider defense prides themselves on being one of the best in the nation on the “money down” and getting off the field quickly. Their trend of forcing punts should continue this weekend against a Mountaineer offense struggling to sustain drives. West Virginia is converting 29% of 3rd downs this season while Texas Tech holds opponents to just 28%. Conversely, Tech’s offense converts 48% of 3rd downs when they have the ball and West Virginia is holding opponents to 40%. Looks like it should be another great day for Tech on the “money down.”
Kingsbury vs. “Typical Tech”
The Red Raiders are 6-0, nationally ranked in both polls and coming off a solid home win. Conversely, West Virginia isn’t very good, playing at home after a bye week, and it’s homecoming weekend. For past Tech teams, this game would have upset, let-down and disappointment written all over it in bright crayola colors. How much of an attitude change has Kliff Kingsbury brought to this team? Will we see “typical Tech” lose a game they shouldn’t on Saturday, or will Kliff and Co. inject sufficient motivation into this very talented Red Raider squad to play hard on the road and get the win? They have so far.
Kerry Hyder vs. West Virginia’s Offensive Line
Senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder went into beast mode against Iowa State, leading the team with 10 total tackles from the nose guard position and absolutely destroying ball carriers when he got a clean shot. In fact, Hyder is on a roll right now, recording 16 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble in the last three games. He’s going against a very week Mountaineer offensive line on Saturday that hasn’t been able to keep any of their three quarterbacks upright or healthy, so expect Hyder and his cohorts to wreck shop.
Bonus: Jace “first down” Amaro vs. Everybody
Last year in Lubbock, Amaro did whatever he wanted to the West Virginia defense to the tune of five catches, 156 yards and a touchdown. This year shouldn’t be much different, seeing as Amaro currently leads the Big 12 in receptions.