PICKIN' AND GRINNIN'
Andy bounced into the lead despite missing the WVU - Baylor game by "only" 49 points -- a number that was way toward the top of the scale after the 115 total points recorded in the game. Bill moved out of the cellar with the closest pick of Baylor's output.
Again, it was tough to single out anyone for a bad performance when West Virginia's was so rancid. Just for the record, Matt's miss by 64 points was the bottom of the bunch, and dropped him into the basement.
|Andy Easton||Last Week: W||Season: 5-1||Pt Diff: 167|
The Jekyll and Hyde Mountaineers return Milan Puskar Stadium hoping for another upset win against the 16th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders are undefeated (6-0) with their most impressive victory coming against #24 ranked TCU 20-10.
At this point Texas Tech has too many weapons on offense for WVU to stop. Throw in WVU's inconsistency on offense and it might be a long day for the Mountaineer faithful.
|Pick: Texas Tech 38-21|
|Jon Martin||Last Week: W||Season: 5-1||Pt Diff: 170|
The matchup between West Virginia and Texas Tech can be summed up in three ways: The good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good: West Virginia is undefeated at home this season, conquering William & Mary, Georgia State and Oklahoma State. They're holding their opponents to an impressive 15 points per game. That alone should provide the Mountaineers with the extra boost needed to pull the upset.
The Bad: The Mountaineers offense and special teams. Two key components needed to help West Virginia spring the upset have been lacking all season. Can they score enough to keep up with Texas Tech?
The Ugly: Texas Tech is a good football team. The Red Raiders roll into Morgantown ranked No. 16 in the county and boast a 6-0 record.
Is it possible West Virginia could pull off another upset? Is it possible they could patch things together enough to take down the undefeated Red Raiders?
|Pick: West Virginia 31-27|
|Chris Richardson||Last Week: W||Season: 5-1||Pt Diff: 174|
Even though the Mountaineers got walloped at Baylor, I didn't come away from that game as frustrated as I was after the Oklahoma or Maryland losses. Baylor is really, REALLY good. Certainly the team to beat in the Big 12. The key games for West Virginia's destiny are Texas Tech, Texas and TCU.
Having an open week to self-scout, heal injuries, and teach is huge for a young team like the Mountaineers. I expect to see the best effort of the season on Saturday. The question is, will that be enough?
Texas Tech is coming in with a 6-0 record and Top 20 ranking under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The guns are definitely up. And while they haven't been on target at all times, the Red Raiders have done a good job of limiting mistakes. This is their first real road test, though.
Even still, they look more like a sure thing at this point than the Mountaineers.
|Pick: Texas Tech 31-24|
|Michael Carvelli||Last Week: W||Season: 5-1||Pt Diff: 189|
This is a big game for West Virginia heading into the rest of the season. With an extra week to focus and prepare for the task at hand against Tech, paired with the home crowd, the Mountaineers have a chance to come out and make a statement and bounce back after such a rough performance against Baylor. I think the defense is going to come out and give West Virginia a chance to win the game - if the offense is able to put points on the board.
If Clint Trickett, assuming he's healthy and will get the majority of the reps, can run the offense in a similar fashion to the way he ran it against Oklahoma State, and if WVU can get the ball to Charles Sims as many times as he needs to get it, the Mountaineers can pull this off. But until the offense proves it can do that, it might be tough to pick them.
|Pick: Texas Tech 28-24|
|Jane Donovan||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 174|
So who jumps off the Quarterback Carousel this week? Rumors around campus have varied -- will it be Trickett? Will it be Millard? Will it be Pat White? Or maybe Marc Bulger? Or maybe Sonny Jurgensen? Or not. Oh, well, I can dream. Trickett does have that Jurgensen tough-guy thing going on, so as long as he has all his body parts still attached and functioning, perhaps he can start to look a little more comfortable in the WVU offense and find a go-to receiver. I miss His Eternal Steadiness and the way he seemed to read Geno's mind.
Being a Mountaineer fan means always looking for the triumph of hope over experience. Nick Kwiatkoski starts doing his best Grant Wiley impersonation again, Nick O'Toole keeps us in it and Josh Lambert scores the winning field goal.
|Pick: West Virginia 31-28|
|Bill Gleason||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 186|
|Inconsistency at nearly every position on offense has put more pressure on the defense than it can handle.|
|Pick: Texas Tech 55-27|
|Brian Jolliff||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 192|
|W,L,W L,W,L,W? Seems like as good of a strategy as any for predicting the outcome of WVU football game this season. After the most embarrassing half of football I've witnessed in my Mountaineer fandom lifetime at Baylor, I'm truly floundering on what to expect. So out with statistical analysis and outcome prognostication...how about a blind guess?|
|Pick: West Virginia 45-31|
|Tony Dobies||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 196|
|West Virginia has been up and down this season, and that most likely will continue on Saturday. I don't have a lot of confidence in this team's offense, and the defense - while improved - is not going to keep Texas Tech off the board. In the end, the offense just isn't going to be able to score enough points to win.|
|Pick: Texas Tech 24-20|
|Greg Hunter||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 198|
|It's likely that for the fifth time in its six games so far this season, WVU will be facing an undefeated opponent. Only time will tell how the Red Raiders compare to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor. The Kliff Kingsbury era is off to a strong start at Tech, but WVU is more battled tested at this point in the season. That experience against a tough foe should be an advantage.|
|Pick: West Virginia 31-28|
|Matt Keller||Last Week: W||Season: 4-2||Pt Diff: 199|
|Texas Tech might have lodged its best victory of the season in its 42-35 win over Iowa State last weekend. But the Cyclones' defensive approach was puzzling. Routinely playing five to seven yards off the ball, ISU allowed underneath completions for the majority of the game and gave up 415 yards on 35 of 56 passing. West Virginia will challenge the Raiders' wideouts and better negate shorter completions off settle routes in the zone. What the Mountaineers will give up is a bit of security on the back end. That's concerning for a team which has struggled to defend the deep ball at times. Tech, however, made special teams and defensive errors that were not capitalized upon by Iowa State. Even with their offensive woes, the Mountaineers have a chance at home after an off week.|
|Pick: West Virginia 27-24|