GAME PREVIEW: WVU vs. Texas Tech – ‘Clash with the Red Raiders’

By Zippy Zimmerman, RealWV

West Virginia Head Coach Neal Brown has a big decision to make: who will lead the lead the helm offensively for the Mountaineers on Saturday?

Garrett Greene has shown signs of improvement throughout the week after his game-ending ankle injury suffered in the Backyard Brawl, but Nicco Marchiol’s performance last week was not one that can be ignored. Marchiol stepped up when Greene went down and led the Mountaineers to a huge win against their biggest rival in the Pitt Panthers.

Although Marciol orchestrated the offense last week rather than Greene, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered regarding whether or not he is the better option at quarterback. The Mountaineers only passed the ball nine times with Marchiol in action. Marchiol did complete six of those throws for 60-yards and a touchdown, but it was evident that Brown trusted the ground game more than the arm of Mcarchiol. Greene on the other hand, is 26 of 47 on pass attempts made this season, with a total of 402 yards and 4 touchdowns thrown. If Greene is healthy enough to go against the Red Raiders it’s likely he’ll be the guy for the Mountaineers, but Marchiol will certainly garners even more attention and leave West Virginia fans wondering what his ceiling is if this is the case. 

Nicco Marchiol leads the Mountaineer offense down field against Pitt, on Sept. 16. Photo by Zippy Zimmerman, RealWV.

The Mountaineers will take on a 1-2 Texas Tech team who is much better than their record shows. Their two losses on the year come by way of a one score deficit to tenth ranked Oregon and a double overtime loss to Wyoming. Offensively the Red Raiders have impressed so far, averaging 37 points a game. Defensively, however, the team has struggled, giving up an average of 36 points in both of their losses. The Air Raid offense will come into Morgantown relying on the on the arm of senior quarterback Tyler Shough. Shough is currently 65 of 105 for 743-yards, with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

For West Virginia’s offense last week, they were saved by the performance of their defense, combined with a sub-par performance from Pitt quarterback Phil Jukovec. Aside from the team’s outing against a very bad Duquesne, the mountaineer offense still has yet to spread its wings. The ground attack has proven reliable for West Virginia, but the offense also hasn’t proven they can move the ball through the air if the run game is taken away. If the Mountaineers can affectively pass the ball against Texas Tech, and their defense plays half as well as they did last week, all fans in attendance on Saturday are guaranteed to see a live performance of “Country Roads.”

Game time is set 2:30pm in Morgantown where the theme for fans attending will be ‘Gold Rush,’ meaning all fans will be wearing their gold colored Mountaineer gear. Those planning on watching from home can do so through ESPN+ or on FuboTV’s streaming services. Those who can’t help but being on the road can tune into 94.3 FM and listen to Tony Caridi’s live play-by-play of the game.

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