A Little Know-Howe: WVU Looks to Make it Three in a Row vs. TTU, but Mahomes and Offense in Way
Vacation is over. After the odd, two open dates in three weeks, West Virginia’s football team returns to action today. And for the next eight weeks. We’ll talk about what that eight straight weeks of games may mean to this team as we move throughout the rest of the season.
Today, let’s talk WVU-Texas Tech.
The easy storyline when these two teams meet is: points, points and more points.
Texas Tech scores in bunches. In fact, the Red Raiders are second in the country in points scored, averaging 55.2 points per game so far in 2016. Tech’s offensive numbers have been ridiculous ... they have a game already this season in which they scored 55 points and LOST (68-55 to Arizona State).
Texas Tech quarterback, Pat Mahomes, is one of the best in the Big 12. For that matter, he may be one of the best in the country.
Mahomes throws for an average of 455 yards per game. That’s nearly 100 yards more than the next closest person in the Big 12 (Kenny Hill, TCU).
So far in 2016, he has completed his passes at a 73 percent completion rate and has thrown for 20 touchdowns.
To put those numbers in perspective, Skyler Howard is having a really good year, yet sits nearly 140 yards passing per game behind Mahomes. Howard has completed 66 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns.
Through nine games in 2016, these two teams are averaging a combined 84 points per game. It’s no surprise the over/under on this game is 83, the highest total of the week according to covers.com.
Basically, it’s a race to 50 points, right? Not so fast.
Check out these numbers: in the previous four games between these two teams, they have averaged just 63.75 points per game.
In fact, it’s been more likely that one of the teams scores in the twenties (two times), than the forties (one time).
Although both coaches come from the Mike Leach ‘Air Raid’ tree, this matchup has been about running the football.
In the last two meetings, both West Virginia wins, the Mountaineers have run the ball a combined 107 times for an average of nearly 300 yards per game.
The successful rushing attack has served two purposes for West Virginia. First of all, it’s been an effective way to move the ball. But, maybe more importantly, it keeps the Texas Tech offense off the field and limits possessions for the Red Raiders.
The old adage rings true … that potent Tech passing attack can’t do any damage standing on the sideline.
The run-heavy strategy has worked. WVU is 2-0 against Texas Tech in the last two meetings, after losing to them the first two years in the Big 12.
Now that you’ve seen the numbers, what do you think will happen today in Lubbock? Will it be the high-scoring affair Vegas is predicting? Or, will the final score be closer to the 63.75 combined points per game we’ve seen in the past when these teams meet?
Tweet me @BradHowe07 or leave a comment below and let me know your score prediction for today.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Dana Holgorsen, left, and TTU Coach Kliff Kingsburgy prior to last year's game, while Pat Mahomes is shown in the second photo. WVU QB Skyler Howard avoids the Texas Tech rush below. Photos by Ben Queen of www.benqueenphotography.com.