Update, 3 p.m.: DE Will Clarke and RB Shawne Alston are not dressed and are both out for the game.
No update as to why in regards to Clarke, but Alston was questionable with a thigh bruise.
LUBBOCK, Texas -- It’s GAMEDAY in Lubbock, Texas, where No. 5 West Virginia will take on Texas Tech at 3:30 p.m.
Yes it’s flat here. When the wind kicks up, so does the dirt. And Dana Holgorsen is right, there aren’t many trees.
You can however, glimpse the very horn rimmed glasses Buddy Holly was wearing the day the music died. They were found at the site of the crash in a frozen wheat field in Iowa, and now sit in a glass case at a museum dedicated to the 50s music icon who hails from this city. But I digress…
What’s on the line today?
Considering West Virginia is ranked No. 5 in the country, and Texas Tech is unranked this is a game that should go the way of the Mountaineers. The hard part – and the part that has some predicting a Texas Tech win - is that the Red Raiders defense is very good. They are No. 2 overall in the country, No. 1 against the pass and No. 12 against the run. They have a crop of safeties that are as fast as they are good, and will be playing at home in front of a raucous and possibly tortilla-throwing crowd. (Check this 2002 editorial from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, though the tradition appears to be frowned upon now)
What are the big questions?
Will Shawne Alston finally get back in the lineup? Holgorsen announced on Thursday night he’d bring his bruising back on the trip here to Lubbock, but it was unclear if he would play still. Alston is suffering from a thigh bruise, which can clearly take longer to recover from than it sounds. The Red Raiders offense is no group of slouches either, and if this game turns into a shootout, can the WVU defense contend?Best case scenario?
West Virginia plays best with a lead and a big one. If the offense can take control in the first half, and the defense can slow the run game, and force QB Seth Doege into a mistake or two, ballgame should go the way of the Mountaineers.
* Out for the game: the Texas Tech horse Midnight Matador after coming up lame this week. According to an official release the horse underwent medical testing this week and is being held out for precautionary reasons.