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October 9, 2012
No. 4/5 West Virginia (5-0, 2-0) travels to Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1) in a matchup that has all the classic makings of a trap game, with the contest sandwiched between an emotional road game at Texas and a potential top five matchup against Kansas State a week later.
But don't tell head coach Dana Holgorsen that.
"I don't know what a trap game means," he said.
This week will be no different in terms of preparation, and the Mountaineers must come focused with the same attitude they've played with this season because this week is just another game in West Virginia's quest for a Big 12 championship.
"You play the same every week. If you don't have the ability to understand that every week is the same and you've got to be able to trust your players and coaches and everybody that's involved to do the same thing every week or you get beat," he said.
Along those lines, much like they do every week as part of the routine, the Mountaineers reviewed film from the Texas game and put the game behind them Sunday night, with the focus now 100-percent dedicated to Texas Tech and what to expect Saturday.
"Don't want to talk much about Texas; don't want the players talking about Texas. The next game has got to be every bit as important as the last one," Holgorsen said.
Offensively, the Red Raiders are an experienced group with a senior quarterback in Seth Doege and a group of talented wide receivers. Texas Tech will run a similar offensive system to West Virginia and like the Mountaineers will vary their tempo.
"It will be a challenge for us," he said.
The Texas Tech defense isn't a tricky group, but is very fundamentally sound and currently ranks as one of the top groups in the country. On average, they've only brought a blitz around eight percent of the time, but do a great job of being in position and playing with effort, Holgorsen said.
"They've given up 200-yards a game. So people haven't moved the ball on them and we were in here yesterday for about 16-hours trying to think of creative ways to get first downs," he said.
The Red Raiders are coming off their first loss of the season last week to Oklahoma at home, 41-20, and that should provide plenty of motivation for the matchup with the Mountaineers. It will be up to the players to be focused on the task at hand understand what's at stake, Holgorsen said.
One area that the head coach was pleased with during the Texas game was the fact that the Mountaineers brought a lot of energy to the sideline and it's something that must continue on the road this weekend, along with a pressing sense of urgency.
When asked about the riots in Morgantown after the win over Texas, Holgorsen said there is no difference between the victory over the Longhorns and the victory the week before over Baylor in terms of reaching the team's goals.
"If it had anything to do with some sort of special win, then I would encourage everybody involved to get used to wins like that. Was that a big win for the program? Yes. Was it good for recruiting and branding and all the rest of it? Absolutely," he said. "Does it count as a championship? No. It counts as one win."
Senior running back Shawne Alston continues to receive treatment and will be monitored this week. Holgorsen did confirm that there are no other issues outside of the thigh bruise.
Mirroring his comments from yesterday, when asked about senior quarterback Geno Smith's current streak without an interception, Holgorsen simply said, "the first step is not to talk about it."
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