Last week Kansas State returned a Mahomes interception for a first-quarter touchdown and stopped Texas Tech's offense on downs three times in the second half.
Both of these teams know how to score and score often, but the heaviest burden is going to fall onto the shoulders of the West Virginia defense as the Mountaineers try to slow down Patrick Mahomes enough to allow Howard and the WVU offense keep pace with a potent Texas Tech.
The junior quarterback for Texas Tech (4-2) has already thrown for almost 2,300 yards and has accounted for 27 touchdowns - 20 through the air and another seven on the ground.
This will be just the sixth all-time meeting between Texas Tech and West Virginia and the fifth since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 Conference.
"When you think of Texas Tech you think of their offense".
The Mountaineers recorded 4 sacks on Mahomes for a total of 47 yards and had a total of 8 tackles for a loss.
Give me the home team and the small line.
Howard's numbers aren't eye-popping (32-106, one touchdown), but the Mountaineers' signalcaller has shown a propensity to pop off a big run when West Virginia needs it most. On the defense, Virginia Tech football allows 197.5 yards in passing and 228.8 yards in rushing against their opponents. Nic Shimonek's touchdown pass in relief wasn't almost enough to extend the Red Raiders' NCAA-record streak of nine home games scoring at least 50 points. Baylor's worst eight-year run in Big 12 play was 6-58. But it was mostly downhill from there for the Red Raiders. And they've yet to play a true road game ... until now.
Stats wise, Mahomes holds up well against the likes of Kizer, Watson and Kaaya, but on many mock drafts, he is the 4 and possibly 5 QB on the board and projected to be a Day 2 or 3 prospect.
Currently, West Virginia is ranked No. 3 in the Big 12 standing going into this Saturday's game. Kelly can throw for over 300 yards on any given Saturday, and is facing an Arkansas defense that has a decent pass defense ranking, but has had their season average lowered while playing much lesser, sometimes FCS schools. (Of course, every Big 12 schedule ultimately features the same teams, but Texas Tech and WVU both happen to face a few tough ones in a row.) Someone will go into that stretch on a good note, and someone else won't.
Defense: West Virginia. No contest.
Holgorsen said that this is a team that has great senior leadership and that this is a group that was taught how to do things right by last year's seniors and a player like Walters is a prime example of them. Crawford also scored on a 5-yard screen pass and Howard raced in with an 8-yard keeper as West Virginia built a 24-7 halftime cushion. Texas Tech finished with 379 yards, nearly 300 below its season average.
Undaunted, WVU came back and got a Molina field goal of their own to stretch the lead back to 27-10, the only regret being a false start penalty probably cost them a chance at a touchdown.
Texas Tech could really turn its season around here with a win, especially with Oklahoma on deck next week. "We haven't played a very clean game the last two weeks, and we've got to definitely do that".
On the offense, Virginia Tech football averages 299.8 yards in passing and 125.5 yards in rushing.