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Texas Tech travels to Morgantown to take on West Virginia

Texas Tech has finally gotten themselves into the win column, but now the real season begins. The Red Raiders travel to Morgantown in their Big 12 opener to take on West Virginia, it what should be a highly competitive game.

West Virginia is coming off an impressive 17-6 win over rival Pitt. The Mountaineers are 2-1 on the season with a loss on the road to a talented Penn State team.

The Mountaineers are dealing with some injuries in the QB department, so it’s not 100% clear who is going to start at that spot Saturday. Junior QB Garrett Greene has started the previous 3 games, but is dealing with an ankle injury.

Prior to his injury, Greene had logged 402 pass yards and 4 TDs with no picks, while also running 21 times for 105 yards and 1 TD. Greene is a fantastic dual threat QB and would be a major problem for the Red Raider defense if he is able to play.

If Greene is unable to go, the Mountaineers will likely turn to Freshman QB Nicco Marchiol. Marchiol came in against Pitt and helped lead WVU to the victory, completing 6 of 9 passes for 60 yards and a TD. Marchiol is not nearly the threat on the ground that Greene is, so West Virginia’s game plan will look much different with him in there.

West Virginia is likely to have a heavy run game with the questions at QB, therefore sophomore RB CJ Donaldson is going to be a major threat to look out for. Donaldson had an extremely impressive outing against Pitt, getting 18 carries for 102 yards and a TD. Donaldson also had 81 yards and a TD against Penn State earlier this season. Donaldson isn’t much of a threat in the passing game, so there isn’t much to look out for there.

Sophomore Jaylen Anderson has also seen some action this year with 28 carries for 107 yards and 1 TD on the season.

West Virginia’s leading receiver this year has been Freshman Hudson Clement. Most of Clements yards came in an outlier game against Duquesne. Clement has caught 6 passes for 187 yards and 3 TDs this season.

Tight End Kole Taylor is a guy to look out for. A transfer from LSU, Taylor already has more yards and catches this year than he has had in any of the previous 4 years he had at LSU. Taylor has had at least 2 catches in each game so far this year, so look out for the big Tight End.

Defensively, the Mountaineers had a statement game last week. They held Pitt to 6 points while forcing 3 interceptions off of Pitt QB Phil Jurkovec.

This West Virginia squad is in a very similar spot to Tech. A lot to prove, and there’s not better proving ground than the Big 12 opener. This is going to be a tough game, but my prediction is Tech wins 34-24.

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