MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU football’s three-game home stand is coming to a close this weekend, and the Mountaineers hope to cap off the series with its third straight win.
WVU (2-1) will host Texas Tech (1-2) at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Texas Tech controls a 6-5 advantage over the Mountaineers since West Virginia joined the Big 12 prior to the 2012 season.
Questions at quarterback
As of Thursday afternoon, it is unknown who will start at quarterback for the Mountaineers following junior Garrett Greene’s ankle injury against Pitt. It will either be Greene or redshirt freshman Nicco Marchiol – who threw for 60 yards and a touchdown in Greene’s absence Saturday – who will line up under center for WVU.
Greene threw for 402 yards and four touchdowns in the first two games of the season, but he adds another dimension to the WVU offense with his ability to extend plays with his legs. He also has 105 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to his name this season.
“Some people bounce back from these a little quicker than others,” head coach Neal Brown said. “He’s doing everything possible to get ready. But I think time will tell.”
It’s not that the left-handed quarterback can’t run, though. Marchiol’s 6-foot-1-inch, 224-pound frame is suited for a different style of play than the 5-foot-11 Greene.
“[Marchiol is] more of an in-between-the-tackles kind of runner,” Brown said. “He’s a real physical [player]. You could see that in high school. He was a tough tackle. He’s really good with balls in between the hashes, like he’s got good velocity on it [and] he throws the deep ball well.”
Brown’s last update for the week will be given on his weekly radio show Thursday night at 6 p.m.
Bittersweet reunion for Brown and his staff
Brown, offensive coordinator Chad Scott, offensive line coach Matt Moore and quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan have all crossed paths at many points over the years dating back to the 2006-07 seasons when they first coached at Troy carrying other titles.
Moore was the first to leave, and he landed at Texas Tech in 2007. By 2010, all four of them were on the Red Raiders’ staff.
But this isn’t the first time they’ve faced their former employer as Mountaineers. Since the four came to WVU in 2019, Texas Tech is 4-0 against WVU with an average margin of victory of 17.25 points.
“It is what it is,” Brown said. “[We] can’t hide from it. They’ve beaten us four years in a row, and last year probably [was about] as bad [of] a performance I’ve ever been a part of down in Lubbock.”
WVU junior bandit Tyrin Bradley is also a native of Lubbock.
Texas Tech scouting report
It’s been an opening month to forget for head coach Joey McGuire’s Red Raiders. Despite a convincing 41-3 win over FCS Tarleton State, Texas Tech’s only games against FBS opponents ended in losses in Weeks 1 and 2 (at Wyoming, vs. Oregon).
Through three games, Texas Tech is allowing the second-most yards (278) and points (25.3) per game in the Big 12. Opponents are averaging 235 passing yards and 143 rushing yards per game against the Red Raiders.
Offensively, the Red Raiders find themselves more towards the center of the pack. Their 434.4 yards and 34.7 points per game are both No. 7 in the Big 12.
“They’re a good team, it’s just [about] matching their tempo,” WVU linebacker Trey Lathan said. “They run a lot of tempo stuff, so I feel like we just got to match their tempo and settle down in the game.”
Earlier this week, Brown noted that Texas Tech could have the best wide receiver room in the Big 12, and he also said Red Raider running back Tahj Brooks is “the best player in our league that nobody talks about.”
The university will also recognize this year’s inductees to the WVU Sports Hall of Fame pregame Saturday. The game itself will be broadcast on ESPN+.