The Nationally ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders are Morgantown bound to square off against the Mountaineers. Texas Tech comes into this game ranked 16th in the nation while the Mountaineers are coming off a much needed bye week after being throttled by Baylor.
Doesn't this seem familiar? The Mountaineers are coming off a game they played on the road, a game that they were manhandled in. Going back to the game against Maryland, the Mountaineers were embarrassed on the road by the Terrapins in a shutout loss. However, the Mountaineers returned home for their next game and upset the 11th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
This is almost the exact scenario heading into Saturday's game against Texas Tech. Aside from having an extra week to prepare the Mountaineers are looking at a situation that they've already seen.
The argument could be made that the Mountaineers have an advantage going into this game. That advantage is the hostile environment the Mountaineer fans can create. In the Mountaineers game against Oklahoma State the crowd factor was evident and certainly played a role in their upset.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen has been stressing how beneficial having the hometown crowd is going into this match-up.
"I expect a very festive atmosphere in Morgantown, "said Holgorsen.
Wide receiver KJ Myers also recognizes that having the Morgantown faithful behind you plays a key role in big games.
"That actually makes a big difference," said Myers. "Especially crowd noise in there, throws them off and it's just going to benefit us, that's a big deal."
Texas Tech brings an undefeated record to Morgantown which is what the Mountaineers did last year when the team traveled to Lubbock. The Mountaineers were defeated in Lubbock and that defeat was the start of the downward spiral of last year's team. This time around the Mountaineers hope to return the favor.
"Complete role reversal of last years, "said quarterback, Paul Millard. "We're looking forward to Saturday, hopefully doing what they did to us last year."
Doing what they did to the Mountaineers last year will be no easy task. Texas Tech currently sits at the top spot in the Big 12. Texas Tech is 3-0 in conference play. The Red Raiders have handled Big 12 opponents, TCU, Kansas and Iowa State and are looking to make the Mountaineers their fourth Big 12 win.
The Mountaineers have been given ample amount of time during bye week to regroup and prepare for this Big 12 match-up. The team will need look much better than they did when they played Baylor. The defense for the Mountaineers was absolutely smoked by the Bears in that game.
It won't get any easier for the Mountaineers' defense, Texas Tech averages 41.8 points a game while averaging 408.8 passing yards and 135.2 rushing yards. Even though Texas Tech struggled against Iowa State, the Red Raiders have handled the rest of their opponents with ease.
The Mountaineers' offense will need to bring in their "A-game" as well. Texas Tech's opponents are only allowing on average 17.3 points a game. Holgorsen said the bye week has been kind to his team and hopes that the extra time off will allow his team to come out strong and focused on Saturday.
"The challenge is hard, but I also assure you we're up to the challenge," Holgorsen said.
The Mountaineers will look to upset another nationally ranked team in Morgantown on Saturday. An electrifying crowd at Mountaineer Field should make for an excellent game day. The two teams are set to kickoff at noon on Saturday.