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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Football

Week 5 Gridiron Spotlight: UH benefits from Tech’s performance


Houston’s loss against Texas Tech will not be as bad if the Red Raiders can perform at a high level. | Thomas Dwyer/ The Cougar

For the second straight week, the Texas Tech Red Raiders will become Cougar fans’ second favorite team. After the Red Raiders went into Stillwater on Saturday and demolished then-No. 15 Oklahoma State in its own stadium, Tech gets to host No. 12 West Virginia this week.

This will be a matchup of two elite passing offenses. West Virginia has won each of its three games by at least 26 points, but Texas Tech will represent its first real test. For Texas Tech, this will be the second consecutive week that it has faced a top 25 team, but it has shown that it has the blueprint for victory.

Texas Tech controlled the ball for over 40 minutes and accumulated over 600 yards of offense against an Oklahoma State defense that is statistically similar to that of West Virginia’s. Coming into the game against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State’s defense ranked No. 17 in yards allowed per game. West Virginia’s defense currently ranks No.18 in yards allowed per game.

West Virginia has the statistical advantage in points allowed per game. Texas Tech, as the No. 1 offense in the nation in yards per game, will take on the team that gives up fewer points per game than any team in the nation except one. If Texas Tech is to win this game, it will need to display another efficient offensive attack.

For West Virginia, it will rely on Heisman hopeful senior quarterback Will Grier to guide them. On the season, Grier leads an aerial attack that ranks third in the nation in passing yards per game, which it will need to utilize against a Texas Tech defense that ranks No. 110 in passing yards allowed per game.

Grier is fourth in the nation in total QBR, a measurement of a quarterback’s value on all play types that ranges from 0-100 and is adjusted for the strength of opposing defenses faced. Grier’s total QBR on the season is 91.2 where the average is 50. This means Grier has been near perfect against the competition he has faced.

Grier has been aggressive throwing the football, averaging almost 12 yards per pass attempt, good for second in the nation. He is also completing nearly 75 percent of his passes, behind only two other quarterbacks. Grier’s counterpart, Red Raiders’ freshman quarterback Alan Bowman, is currently second in the nation in passing yards while completing over 70 percent of his passes on the season.

This means the Red Raiders’ and Mountaineers’ clash looks to be another high-scoring affair, as both teams will look to air it out in a back-and-forth game.

As long as the Red Raiders continue to win, it will be beneficial to both Texas Tech and Houston. Every time the Red Raiders win and climb higher in the polls, it makes the Cougars’ lone loss look more reasonable. Should Texas Tech find a way to win this game, Cougar fans will look ahead to Tech’s games against No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 18 Texas.

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