Slowing down Patrick Mahomes is key for West Virginia to top the Red Raiders.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Kliff Kingsbury has put together a strong team at Texas Tech. Unfortunately, Tech is feeling deflated for what was expected to be a ‘good’ season, like the Mountaineers. Both teams are aiming for a bowl game, and a strong close to the season.

The Red Raiders can score touchdowns quickly and often - as seen against Oklahoma State last week. Kingsbury’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a talented, and excelled in the offense. Already this season he has over 3,000 passing yards and 33 total touchdowns. Mahomes will use his mobility to keep plays alive. He keeps his eyes down the field, searching for a target. 

But don't doubt his mobility. Mahomes is another deadly dual-threat. He isn't a downhill runner  like Seth Russell, and he doesn’t have the elusiveness of Trevone Boykin. Mahomes has a gliding speed in the open field, and adds bulk at the goal line. He can make defenders miss, but doesn't always tuck the ball when he chooses to run.

“Their quarterback has ability to get out of the pocket. We’ll have to contain him,” said senior linebacker Isaiah Bruce on WVU’s game plan for Saturday. “They have an explosive offense, and we’ll try to make them as one dimensional as possible.” 

West Virginia had trouble containing Russell and Boykin, and Mahomes will be no less of a problem. Defensive line coach Bruce Tall said it always concerns an opponent when a quarterback can move in the pocket like Mahomes.

“He’s very athletic. He sees the field. He can run and get out of trouble,” said Tall. “You like a guy that sits back there and is a non-moving target because it’s easy to hit.”

What started as a deep roster for West Virginia quickly dissipated. It’s glaringly obvious how much Karl Joseph is missed in the secondary. Especially with Terrell Chestnut and Daryl Worley banged up. Both Nick Kwiatkoski and Dravon Askew-Henry have been bright spots, but the heart-wrenching hurdles the defense has endured overshadows most individual achievement. 

Dana Holgorsen also made note that the staff isn’t going to bring up the month of October anymore, because there was nothing they could do about the schedule. 

Both teams have gone through the grind of the Big 12, though. Texas Tech’s losses are all to the same opponents, but they did not play them in the same order as West Virginia. Tech did play TCU and Baylor back-to-back weeks, but at home. 

Texas Tech has not had a bye week this season, which could play in the Mountaineers favor. 

 


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