The West Virginia Mountaineers were rolling along through the Big 12 until they went into Lubbock, a place Lee Corso described as “cold, damp, and windy” or exactly like Morgantown. West Virginia had the Heisman favorite quarterback in Geno Smith and Texas Tech was formerly number 1 overall in total defense. The question was whether or not West Virginia could sustain their high-powered offensive ways and out score everyone they play without playing any type of defense at all.
We now have the answer to that question after Texas Tech out gunned the Mountaineers 49 -14.
No, West Virginia cannot continue to try to blow people away with their offense. This may work against 90% of the opponents they face and it’s been successful in the Big 12 up until now, but the difference in Texas Tech and the last opponent West Virginia played, Texas, is the coaching and play calling.
The Red Raiders are led by Tommy Tuberville, who was a head coach in the SEC for 14 years spending 4 years at Ole Miss before moving to Auburn for 10. Tuberville brought with him the defensive philosophies of the SEC, and finally in his 3rd year at Tech, it’s starting to pay off. The Red Raiders were ranked 1st in the country in total defense heading into the Oklahoma game where they still only gave up 380 yards. Texas Tech is currently ranked 4th in total defense and that obviously caused major problems for the Mountaineers.
Looking forward at the rest of the Mountaineers’ schedule, they currently don’t face another defense ranked higher than 14th (Oklahoma 14th in total defense, TCU 15th in total defense), so the Mountaineers may be able to finish off the season with just offense, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
If the Mountaineers want to compete against the best, they may want to consider making some defensive changes.