Score Early and Often
The worst thing a road team can do in a hostile environment is get behind. The crowd gets loud and obnoxious when the home team is in the lead. West Virginia is 3-0 at Milan Puskar Stadium this season and upset a ranked Oklahoma State team that was more talented. The Mountaineers are coming off a bye week. This is a trap game for Texas Tech with a road trip to Oklahoma next. If West Virginia gets down early, their offense will stall. Tech needs to silence the crowd by taking at worst a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. If Tech takes a 21 point lead, there is a good chance West Virginia's offense will hit the panic button.
Shore up the special teams
If there is one team that will beat Tech because of miscues on special teams, it's West Virginia. Special teams cost Oklahoma State a game against the Mountaineers. Cowboys punter Kip Smith had two punts that traveled fewer than 20 yards. One of those punts went 13 yards to the Oklahoma State 43-yard line. West Virginia took advantage and scored a touchdown. Cowboys kicker Ben Grogan missed two field goals in the second half that could have eased the pressure on Oklahoma State in the end. Texas Tech kicker Ryan Bustin has not been the most accurate kicker lately. He's missed two field goals inside 40 yards in the past two games. The Mountaineers tied up the game against Baylor in the first quarter on a muffed punt. Tech must be alert this week.
Texas Tech is the better team. If the Red Raiders play solid defense and minimize turnovers on offense and special teams, this game could get ugly quick. Tech travels to Norman next week. West Virginia is coming off a bye. Tech upset a then ranked West Virginia team who was undefeated in Lubbock in 2012. The Mountaineers have not forgotten. West Virginia has struggled since the defeat. They want revenge. This is clearly a trap game for the Red Raiders.
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