Texas Tech fans can be thankful that Dana Holgorsen made a phone call and urged Kliff Kingsbury to give coaching a try. Now Red Raiders fans hope that Holgorsen's West Virginia team doesn't disconnect their team from an undefeated start.
Holgorsen spent three seasons as a Texas Tech assistant while Kingsbury was the team's quarterback. In 2008, Kingsbury's pro career was over and Holgorsen was offensive coordinator at Houston. He called Kingsbury and offered him a job as offensive quality control coach.
And five years later, Kingsbury coach of a 6-0 Red Raiders team ranked No. 15 which Saturday plays at West Virginia, coached by Holgorsen.
"Obviously, we don't talk as much now that we're in the same conference," said Kingsbury, who lived with Holgorsen when he was starting his coaching career at Houston. "But I have a ton of respect for him and I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for him."
Lubbock has been buzzing about football since Kingsbury was hired last December. The team's fast start has increased the noise. Texas Tech also has won its first six games playing freshmen quarterbacks. Baker Mayfield, a walk on, has made five starts but Davis Webb took over for the injured Mayfield last week and threw for 415 yards against Iowa State.
Who starts at quarterback will be a game-time decision for both coaches. Kingsbury will choose between Mayfield and Davis. Holgorsen will start either Clint Trickett or Paul Millard.
Last week, Texas Tech piled up 666 yards in total offense including 251 yards on the ground. Even with that season-best performance, the Red Raiders are ninth in the Big 12 in rushing offense.
"Like I've said all along, we're going to do what we think we can do best each and every Saturday,'' Kingsbury said this week. "And whether that's throw it or run it, we'll see what's working.''
A month ago Oklahoma State, the preseason favorite to win the Big 12, took an undefeated record to West Virginia and was sent home packing a 30-21 loss. Texas Tech hopes to avoid a similar fate.
"This is the fourth time we have played an undefeated and ranked team in the Big 12," Holgorsen said. "The challenge is large, but I can assure you we are up for the challenge and will put our best foot forward. I would expect a very festive atmosphere in Morgantown on Saturday."
All Times Central
TCU at Oklahoma State
Need to know: 11 a.m., Boone Pickens Stadium, FOX.
Records: TCU 3-3, 1-2; Oklahoma State 4-1, 1-1.
Scouting TCU: The Horned Frogs are eighth in scoring and ninth in total offense in the Big 12. TCU's inability to consistently move the football and produce points has contributed to the 3-3 start. Sophomore quarterback Trevone Boykin has been inconsistent. The Frogs are second in total defense and leads the Big 12 with 10 interceptions.
Scouting Oklahoma State: The Cowboys' offense has not been as explosive as the offensive units from the past three seasons. The offensive line has been inconsistent and dealing with injuries while the running game has struggled. Oklahoma State's defense, however, has been solid. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in turnover margin.
This and that: TCU is playing at Oklahoma State in consecutive seasons because of a scheduling quirk caused by conference realignment. … The Frogs have lead at halftime once this season – 17-14 against Southeastern Louisiana. … After missing three of his first four field goal attempts, Oklahoma State freshman Ben Grogan was four of five (the one miss was blocked) in the victory over Kansas State.
Texas Tech at West Virginia
Need to know: 11 a.m., Milan Puskar Stadium, FS1.
Records: Texas Tech 6-0, 3-0; West Virginia 3-3, 1-2.
Scouting Texas Tech: The Red Raiders, ranked No. 15, make their second road trip of the season. Texas Tech freshman Davis Webb started in place of freshman Baker Mayfield in the victory over Iowa State but it's uncertain who will get the call against West Virginia. Texas Tech's defense leads the Big 12 by allowing opponents to convert just 28 percent of their third downs.
Scouting West Virginia: The Mountaineers come off a bye week hoping to have healed quarterbacks to help them spring another upset of a ranked Big 12 foe. Quarterbacks Clint Trickett, Ford Childress and Paul Millard have each started two games; Trickett and Childress have been battling injuries and Childress has been ruled out for Saturday's game.
This and that: Texas Tech is bowl eligible for the 20th time in the last 21 seasons. … In its last game, West Virginia allowed eight rushing touchdowns and a Big 12-record 864 yards in a 73-42 loss at Baylor. … Texas Tech junior tight end Jace Amaro leads the Big 12 with 47 receptions for 606 yards. He has at least nine catches in each of his last four games.
Oklahoma at Kansas
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium, ESPN.
Records: Oklahoma 5-1, 1-1; Kansas 2-3, 0-2.
Scouting Oklahoma: The No. 18 Sooners will try to bounce back from their first loss. Oklahoma is ninth in the Big 12 in pass offense and needs its air attack to balance a productive running game. OU's defense lost another starter this week as defensive lineman Jordan Phillips underwent season-ending back surgery.
Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks continue to struggle offensively and are last in the Big 12 in scoring and total offense. This week, coach Charlie Weis has juggled game-day coaching assignments in an effort to spark the attack. The Jayhawks' defense has been solid and forced five turnovers in last week's loss at TCU.
This and that: Kansas has lost 23 straight conference games, dating to a win over Colorado on Nov. 6, 2010. … The last time the Jayhawks beat a current Big 12 team was Oct. 10, 2009 (Iowa State). … In 2006 and 2008 Oklahoma lost to Texas but still won a conference title. … The Sooners are 14-0 in games immediately following the Red River Rivalry under Bob Stoops (6-0 vs. Kansas).
Iowa State at Baylor
Need to know: 6 p.m., Floyd Casey Stadium, ESPNU.
Records: Iowa State 1-4, 0-2; Baylor 5-0, 2-0.
Scouting Iowa State: The Cyclones have a history of upsetting ranked teams on the road. To do that, they'll need a big improvement on defense. Iowa State is last in the Big 12 in total defense and eighth in rushing defense despite leading the Conference in fumble recoveries. Iowa State's offense has been slowed by injuries on the offensive line while quarterback Sam Richardson (ankle) and running back Aaron Wimberly (shoulder) are nicked up.
Scouting Baylor: The No. 12 Bears return home after winning their first road game. Baylor leads FBS in total offense at 715.4 yards per game and scoring offense with an average of 63.4 points. Junior quarterback Bryce Petty leads the nation in passing efficiency. He has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and just one interception.
This and that: Baylor has never started Big 12 play 3-0. … Baylor wide receivers Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley have combined for 49 catches, 1,288 yards and 12 touchdowns. … Iowa State's four losses have come by a combined 22 points.