About this time last season, the Red Raiders were approaching a No. 10 ranking after going 7-0. When it plays West Virginia on Saturday, Texas Tech will be trying to avoid starting conference play with three straight losses for the first since 1990.
The two coaches know one another well. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was coaching receivers at Texas Tech when Kliff Kingsbury was the Red Raiders quarterback.
Holgorsen sees similarities between Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett and Kingsbury's time behind center.
''He would come in and want to watch a ton of film and knew how to be a leader in the locker room - knew how to be a leader in the huddle,'' he said of the second-year coach. ''He was extremely competitive. I see all of those qualities with Clint.''
Trickett's counterpart, Davis Webb, is looking to rebound after throwing a career-high four interceptions (he has 10 for the season) in the Red Raiders' (2-3, 0-2) loss at Kansas State last week. Kingsbury said he's sticking with Webb, who's thrown for 1,603 yards and 16 TDs as his starter. Kingsbury says he's ready to not see ''the Bad News Bears'' version of his offense
''We have to be more consistent as a group and we haven't been at all,'' he said. ''It's puzzling to me because in practice, I see positive things and we're just not doing it in the games.''
The Red Raiders won last year's game, 37-27, at West Virginia.
Five things to know for Saturday's game:
Holgorsen on Wednesday reinstated CB Daryl Worley after the sophomore pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault in a nightclub altercation last month. Worley, who missed games against Oklahoma and Kansas, could be a valuable asset in combatting the Red Raiders' passing attack. He's second in the Big 12 with two interceptions; the Mountaineers have three on the season.
Texas Tech has committed more penalties than any team in the nation. Ranked No. 125, the Red Raiders have been penalized 55 times for 511 yards, or an average of 11 penalties and 102.2 yards per game. They've come at key moments, either moving opponents forward or the Red Raiders backward. ''That number is pretty astounding when you look at a season total,'' Kingsbury said. ''It's hard to win any games doing that every week.''
The past couple of games, the Red Raiders have toyed with shuffling around their receivers. The move was aimed at getting more from outside receiver positions that have thus far not been too productive. In the past two games, four Tech receivers have switched positions and the Red Raiders have dropped 14 passes. (Webb's) got a couple of inexperienced guys at receiver,'' Holgorsen said. ''They're going to continue to be able to get on the same page. I would expect to see improvement with them each and every week moving forward.''
Trickett's best and frequent target is WR Kevin White, a 6-3, 210-pound senior who leads the nation in receiving yards (765) and receiving yards per game (153). Webb most often throws to WRs Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez; their combined per game receiving average is 171 yards.
WHO'S GOT THE BALL?
Texas Tech has won time of possession in only one game this season - at Oklahoma State. In three games, opponents held the ball almost twice as long as the Red Raiders. They average 23:41, while West Virginia's average is 29:55.