Week 8 - Texas Tech at West Virginia

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Texas Tech at West Virginia

- TCU at Oklahoma State | Texas Tech at West Virginia
- Oklahoma at Kansas | Iowa State at Baylor

Texas Tech (6-0) at West Virginia (3-3) Oct. 19 12:00, FOX Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's a turning point game for both teams. Yeah, Texas Tech is 6-0, and the first half of the season has been fun, but the big, splashy wins haven't been there. Beating TCU was fine, but the Red Raiders have already gone through the appetizer portion of the Big 12 schedule beating Kansas and Iowa State over the last two weeks. With Oklahoma up next and Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas still lurking, there's work to do, but first they have to get past a desperate Mountaineer squad.

Which West Virginia team will show up? Will it be the one whose defense slowed down Oklahoma State a few weeks ago, or is it the one that got its doors blown off in a 73-42 blasting from Baylor? At 3-3 and with three of the next four games on the road, getting a home win over Texas Tech would be a huge, huge help for a possible bowl bid. There's still time to do some nice things with Kansas, Kansas State, TCU and Iowa State all winnable – and Texas is certainly beatable on the right day – but this is a big one.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The West Virginia secondary has gone bye-bye over the last few weeks. It did a terrific job against Oklahoma, but the pressure wasn't steady into the backfield and the defensive backs gave up 322 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma State – but it was an uneven passing day – and Baylor rolled for 396 yards and three scores. The bigger problem is an offense that has to try to keep up with the Tech attack. WVU has been under 50% passing over the last two games. Accuracy and efficiency will be vital to keep the Red Raider offense off the field, but that hasn't been the Mountaineer attack this season.

Why West Virginia Might Win: Texas Tech is giving the ball away way too often. Turnovers have been an issue for West Virginia, but the Red Raiders have had too many problems lately, giving up the ball 14 times on the year with three turnovers in three of the last four games. This is a dangerous passing team, but everyone is still trying to figure it all out. WVU has to win the turnover battle and it has to take advantage of every opportunity. The Red Raider run defense has been fantastic so far, and WVU isn't going to go on many long drives; field position will be a big deal.

Who To Watch Out For: It's time for Charles Sims to bust out. West Virginia has an NFL-caliber running back who's averaging around five yards per carry. He hit the 100-yard mark against William & Mary and Georgia State, but he's overdue to take over a game and help out a middling passing attack. Establish the run, keep Texas Tech's O off the field. It's easier said than done, but WVU has to give it a shot.

What Will Happen: Texas Tech's defense has been the key so far. The offense has been great, but the D is doing a strong job of holding its own. Unfortunately, it'll have to overcome a slew of key mistakes by QB Davis Webb and it won't do it. WVU will make it 4-0 at home, but it won't be pretty.

Prediction: West Virginia 27 … Texas Tech 24
Line: Texas Tech -7 o/u: 56.5
Must See Rating: (5 Bad Grandpa – 1 Vanilla Ice Goes Amish) … 2.5
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