The Mismatches

Texas Tech holds huge advantages over West Virginia on both sides of the ball. If the Red Raiders can exploit these Saturday they should move to 7-0.

No. 16 Texas Tech holds advantages over West Virginia in several key areas heading into their 11 a.m. matchup Saturday in Morgantown.

Tech's third down defense versus West Virginia's inefficient offense
The Red Raider third-down defense is ranked No. 11 in the nation with opponents converting on third down just .282 of the time.

Conversely, the West Virginia offense is one of the worst in the country (No. 111 out of 123 FBS schools) on third down and are moving the chains less than 30 percent of the time on third down.

Texas Tech calls third down the "money down" and getting off the field "getting paid." The Red Raider defense should make a killing Saturday.

Tech's running game against West Virginia's porous rush defense
The Red Raiders would prefer to air it out, but the run game has come up big the past two weeks in wins over Kansas and especially Iowa State. Texas Tech rushed for 251 yards against the Cyclones while splitting the load between Sadale Foster, Kenny Williams and Deandre Washington masterfully behind an offensive line coming into its own.

The Mountaineers rush defense is giving up 210.2 yards per game which ranks 106th out of 123 FBS teams.

The numbers in Big 12 play are even worse as West Virginia has given up 895 yards on the ground in three conference games (295.3 yards per game), including 468 to Baylor.

Tech's defensive line versus West Virginia's offensive line
The Red Raiders are No. 11 in the country in tackles for loss per outting (8), led by senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, who has nine this season. Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt has a deep, veteran front line who are attacking and confusing offensive lines, rather then sitting back and reacting.

The Mountaineers offensive line allows 6.17 tackles for loss a game which is 77th in the country.

If these trends continue Saturday the Tech Tech defense should be able to feast on third and long situations against mostly ineffective West Virginia quarterback play.

Raider Power Top Stories