No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday October 13th, 2012. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Jones ATT Stadium Lubbock, T.X.<
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WVU -4/TT +4
Over/Under Total: OFF
QB Geno Smith escalated his Heisman Trophy campaign again last week leading the West Virginia Mountaineers in a 45-42 shootout victory over the Texas Longhorns. The win marked West Virginia’s second straight close victory over a top 25 opponent and vaulted the Mountaineers to a top 5 ranking in the latest AP Polls. Smith completed 25 of 35 passing for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns to add to his ridiculous PlayStation type numbers this year. Smith has now tossed 24 touchdowns with an 81% completion percentage on the season and has yet to throw his first interception. Smith is clearly the leader in the mid-season Heisman Trophy race and we will get to see if the Mountaineers can stay unbeaten when they travel to Lubbock to battle the Texas Tech Red Raiders this Saturday.
The Red Raiders owned the number 1 defense in the country going into last week’s showdown with Oklahoma. The Texas Tech defense only gave up 380 total yards to Oklahoma’s high powered offense but allowed 41 points in the lopsided defeat. It was actually the Red Raiders offense that failed to show up in Lubbock last Saturday night and kept the Texas Tech defense on the field. Texas Tech has averaged over 500 yards total offense this season but was held to just 360 yards against the Sooners. In fact before the final drive in the 4th quarter, the Red Raiders offense had produced just 27 yards in the entire 2nd half as they faced several 3 and outs.. QB Seth Doege also tossed 3 picks to make matters worse in what can only be described as an ugly offensive performance.
The Red Raiders still have the 2nd best defense in America giving up just 210 total yards per game and the number 1 pass defense allowing just 117 yards per game. However, the Red Raiders offense will have to play much better this Saturday to pull off the upset. Geno Smith and company are going to move the football and put a big number on the scoreboard but that does not mean the Red Raiders cannot put an even bigger number on the scoreboard as well. The Mountaineers’ defense has gave up 108 points in their last two games and currently rank 102nd in the country giving up 460 yards per game. Therefore if West Virginia coughs the ball up a few times or Texas Tech’s stifling defense can come up with a few plays, Texas Tech will have the chance to outscore the Mountaineers.
Red Raiders QB Seth Doege needs to have a bounce back performance after the dismal outing against Oklahoma last week. Doege has actually thrown 5 picks in the last two games but has the big time arm to pick apart the West Virginia defense if he can just avoid the mental mistakes. For Doege and Texas Tech’s offense, it will be all about ball control and avoiding turnovers this Saturday to keep the pressure on the West Virginia’s defense.
I have little doubt that both offenses will shine this Saturday in another classic Big 12 shootout. As bad as West Virginia’s defense has been, their offense has been that much better. However, it is only a matter of time before Smith has somewhat of a bad performance. Once that happens, my question is can the West Virginia defense step up and make some stops to keep the unbeaten streak alive?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Call me crazy but I backed the Red Raiders last week in the loss to Oklahoma but I am going to give them another shot this week. I really like Texas Tech’s defense and think they can slow down this Mountaineers offense. As long as Doege does not have another horrible outing, I like the Red Raiders in a bounce back game that many will view as a huge upset. Take Texas Tech +4!
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