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Countdown to Kickoff – Texas Tech Preview – West Virginia University Athletics – WVU Athletics

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia looks to snap Texas Tech’s two-game winning streak in series play when the two meet later this afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The Red Raiders claimed a 38-17 victory here in Morgantown during coach Neal Brown‘s first season in 2019, and got a fourth quarter scoop-and-score touchdown to defeat the Mountaineers 34-27 in Lubbock last year.
Quarterback Henry Colombi was the catalyst in Texas Tech’s victory last year, the then-junior passing and scrambling for a pair of touchdowns in his first collegiate start. He was pressed into action during last Saturday’s 70-35 loss at Texas when starting quarterback Tyler Slough broke his collar bone.
Colombi completed 17-of-23 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs.
“Last year, he really hurt us extending plays, especially on third down,” Brown said. “He was able to extend some broken plays, found some open receivers and they were able to convert and keep drives alive. He played well in relief last week against Texas. He had three big, explosive pass plays in the second half, and he’s a challenge for us.”
Texas Tech (3-1) began the season with victories over Houston (38-21), Stephen F. Austin (28-22) and Florida International (54-21).
West Virginia saw its season-record leveled to 2-2 following last Saturday’s 16-13 loss at Oklahoma on the game’s final play. The Mountaineers never trailed the Sooners until Gabe Brkic’s 30-yard field goal with no time on the clock won it for Oklahoma.
Bryce Ford-Weaton paced West Virginia’s offense with eight catches for 93 yards, while redshirt freshman Garrett Greene came into the game to score the Mountaineers’ only touchdown, a 2-yard run on the opening possession of the game.
Linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo led the WVU defense with 12 tackles.
West Virginia’s two victories this year were against Long Island and Virginia Tech, while its other defeat came at undefeated Maryland in the 2021 season opener.
Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, five of West Virginia’s nine games against Texas Tech have been decided by one possession and another was determined by 11 points. WVU won five straight from 2014 to 2018 until Tech’s recent two-game winning streak.
Here is today’s Countdown to Kickoff: 
10 – The Mountaineers have converted at least three red-zone attempts in             TEN of its last 14 games, including three out of four times so far this year.
9 – West Virginia quarterbacks have passed for more than 250 yards in a game NINE times over the last three seasons.
8 – The Mountaineer defense has produced EIGHT 10-plus tacklers in their last five games dating back to last season, including linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo’s team-best 12 stops during last week’s loss at Oklahoma.
7 – SEVEN different West Virginia players have made at 29 career appearances, including safety Sean Mahone’s team-best 46 heading into today’s Texas Tech game.
6 – Texas Tech’s defense has produced SIX interceptions this year by six different players.
5 – The Red Raiders have generated FIVE West Virginia turnovers in their last two victories against the Mountaineers.
4 – WVU ranks FOURTH nationally this week in kickoff returns averaging 41.2 yards per return.
3 – West Virginia had just THREE offensive possessions in last Saturday’s 16-13 loss at Oklahoma.
2 – Leddie Brown is the first Mountaineer running back to tally at least TWO rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in multiple games since All-American Steve Slaton (2005-07).
1 – The Mountaineer defense ranks FIRST in the Big 12 and fifth nationally with 37 tackles for loss heading into today’s game.
This afternoon’s contest has been deemed a Stripe the Stadium game with fans sitting in even numbered sections encouraged to wear their gold and fans sitting in odd numbered sections urged to wear blue.
Also today, College Football Hall of Famer Darryl Talley will have his No. 90 officially retired. The ceremony will take place on the field at the end of the first quarter.
Former WVU director of athletics Oliver Luck is in town to help recognize his former Mountaineer teammate.
“We need a tremendous atmosphere,” Brown said. “I thought our guys went out to Norman and we played Oklahoma toe-to-toe and just came up a little bit short. We played tough and we played physical; they strained every snap, and I think it’s a group that really deserves the backing of Mountaineer Nation. 
“I feel really confident our people will be here and they will be loud.”
A 3:30 kickoff has been established for today’s game with television coverage on ESPN2 (Anish Shroff, Mike Golic Jr. and Lauren Sisler).
Mountaineer Sports Network radio coverage on affiliates throughout West Virginia and online via and the popular mobile app WVU Gameday begins at noon. Regular network coverage with Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed Drenning starts at 2:30.
Be sure to stop back afterward for complete postgame coverage.

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