A look at the rivalry between Texas Tech and West Virginia


The 4th annual Battle for the John Denver Trophy will take place in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday morning as the West Virginia Mountaineers visit the Texas Tech Red Raiders. This game isn’t actually called the “Battle for the John Denver Trophy” but this game’s marketing factor would skyrocket if it were.

These two teams come in with a combined five losses on the season but with remarkably different outlooks considering there is only a game difference between them. Texas Tech stumbles into the contest at 2-3, losers of three straight; they are looking for any sign of togetherness. West Virginia comes in at 3-2, but with 2 close losses to then Top 10 teams in Alabama and Oklahoma; they feel like they can battle with anyone.

– Texas Tech leads the all-time series 2-1, which is not a lot of games when you consider how much these two teams have in common. You’ve got John Denver, a Red Raider alum who is famous for a song about WVU, Dana Holgorsen and ST coach Lyle Leong who were both in Lubbock as either a coach or player under Mike Leach, Red Raider DC Mike Smith who was reported to have signed a contract with WVU before jumping ship for the South Plains, and a star WR for West Virginia who was reportedly days away from signing with Lubbock when he was spooked off by Tommy Tuberville’s shenanigans as he left for Cincinnati.

– Texas Tech has won the last two games in the series, and it is important (ok not really) to note that West Virginia has never beaten Texas Tech in the Big 12 or in Lubbock, Texas for that matter.

More from Texas Tech Football

– Texas Tech’s largest margin of victory came in a 49-14 shellacking in Lubbock two years ago. WVU’s largest win came in a 7-6 victory in 1938.

– Texas Tech has played 241 fewer games than the Mountaineers, and yet the Red Raiders have appeared in five more bowl games and have the same amount of bowl wins as the Mountaineers do.

-Texas Tech has had 12 consensus All-Americans in program history to West Virginia’s 11.

-Texas Tech has had the same record or better than West Virginia in 44 of the 87 completed years that both schools have played football.