The 12th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers will travel to Lubbock on Saturday in a highly anticipated Top-25 matchup against No. 25 Texas Tech. Both teams have prolific offenses and improving defenses that make this game pretty evenly matched. If the Red Raiders want to beat West Virginia for the first time since 2013, they will need to watch out for these Mountaineers:
QB Will Grier – As one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy this year, Grier is the first on our list. Last season, Grier amassed almost 3,500 passing yards and 34 touchdowns. This season, he’s the highest rated quarterback in the Big 12, has the highest completion rate of about 75 percent and accounts for the most touchdowns with 14. He is third in the Big 12 in passing yards with 1,117 and only has three interceptions. What really makes Grier stand out is his maturity and effectiveness while under pressure. Last week against Kansas State, he completed 7 of 9 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns while being blitzed. Texas Tech’s defensive line will be able to pressure Grier, but the secondary will need to watch out for Grier’s quick releases and accurate passes while under pressure.
WR David Sills V – Sills is a senior who has gained a lot of experience as a receiver once he got into college. In high school, Sills was actually a quarterback. In 2015 as a freshman, he started being utilized for his hands rather than his arm and finished the season with 131 yards and a couple of touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he transferred to El Camino College where he took on the quarterback position again. When he returned to play for the Mountaineers in 2017, he accumulated many accolades for his efforts as a receiver. He ranked No. 1 in the country in total receiving touchdowns with 18, was a Biletnikoff Award Finalist and earned some All-American honors. Sills continues to be one of Grier’s top targets, accounting for 246 total receiving yards and five touchdowns.
WR Marcus Simms – Simms, a junior out of Maryland has established himself as one of the top receivers for the Mountaineers. He has 295 total receiving yards and one touchdown so far. Last season, he was the fourth-leading receiver for West Virginia with 663 yards and five touchdowns.
BONUS: The running backs – West Virginia rotates three running backs every game – freshman Leddie Brown, junior Martell Pettaway and junior Kennedy McKoy. Against Tennessee, they combined for 107 yards on 21 carries, but no touchdowns. The following week against Youngstown State, they stepped it up a notch with 268 total rushing yards and two touchdowns, 115 of those yards going to Brown. Each of the running backs has led the team in rushing so far this season (Pettaway against Tennessee, Brown against Youngstown State and McKoy against Kansas State). Texas Tech has to focus on all three running backs, unlike last week when Justice Hill was the main guy for Oklahoma State.