Holgorsens Take: Big 12 Teleconference
West Virginia (3-2, 1-1) will hit the road for a critical Big 12 Conference matchup with Texas Tech (2-3, 0-2) Saturday at noon and there won't be many secrets between the two coaching staffs heading into the game.
Texas Tech is coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who has a long history with head coach Dana Holgorsen and the two opposed each other last year for the first time 37-27 with the Red Raiders scoring the final 21 points of the game. This will be the first time that West Virginia has returned to Lubbock since the then No. 5 Mountaineers fell 49-14, but there are some differences between that team and this one.
"Well we have a lot of guys on our roster that have been to Lubbock, Texas before. That's step one," Holgorsen said. "I remember trying to explain to them what the Big 12 is like, what specific venues are like but if you don't have guys in the locker room that have been there or done that it makes it tough."
And because of that experience not only with the venue but throughout the rest of the team, Holgorsen believes that West Virginia is much better prepared for this trip to Lubbock.
The Red Raiders are led offensively by sophomore quarterback Davis Webb and will rely on throwing the football around the field as he already has thrown for 1,603 yards and 16 touchdowns but also tossed 10 interceptions in five games.
The Red Raiders also have several weapons at wide receiver led by Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez, but have been running the football more this season with DeAndre Washington in the backfield.
"We need to be able to stop the run and be prepared for that," Holgorsen said.
Earlier on the conference call Kansas interim head coach Clint Bowen praised the Mountaineers offense saying that if everybody remains healthy the unit has a chance to be top five in the nation due to the balance across the skill positions. Holgorsen said the focus has been on improving the run game and credited the job that Ron Crook has done up front on top of recruiting more running backs to add to the depth in the backfield.
"The run game brings a different element to the game," he said.
Still the focus will be taking what the defense gives you on any given Saturday and senior quarterback Clint Trickett has shown his maturity by doing just that through the season's first five games.
Overall, Holgorsen said he isn't satisfied with 3-2 at this point but the Mountaineers have responded well in games against Maryland and Kansas when they played poorly in those matchups in 2013. Still, the focus will be directed at the task at hand this weekend.
"It's about preparation to play the next opponent," he said.
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