While windy conditions await in Lubbock, it’s business as usual for West Virginia offense

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s game against Texas Tech at 3 p.m. Saturday is projected to be played with temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s.

It will almost certainly be the warmest climate the Mountaineers play in over the remainder of the 2022 season. Considering it’s in Lubbock, the contest may well be the windiest of West Virginia’s remaining six guaranteed games as well.

“I don’t tell them anything. The weather is the weather,” first-year WVU offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said. “It’s not like you can change it. We’re going to have to execute no matter what we get. When you’re out there, you kind of get used to it.” 

Harell would know. From 2005-2008, he became the Red Raiders’ all-time passing leader, compiling 15,793 passing yards with 134 touchdowns.

Rarely, Harrell says, was he factoring in the wind.

“Some days are windier than others, especially in the spring. The spring can be crazy out there,” Harrell said. “Spring ball is not the most fun time to throw the football. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be this weekend. It’s not going to change anything, so it’s not something I really think about or talk about much.”

The forecast calls for winds between 15 and 20 miles per hour throughout the afternoon matchup. 

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown previously spent three years as the Red Raiders’ offensive coordinator and is well aware of the windy conditions often associated with playing in Lubbock. Brown, however, believes the Mountaineers may have already played a game this season in which the wind had a bigger impact than what it will against the Red Raiders.

“I spent three years in Lubbock, but the worst football wind that we’ve been in is that wind at Virginia Tech, because it was so odd,” Brown said. “It’ll be windy in west Texas. That’s kind of what it is. But it won’t have any greater affect on the game, other than punting and kicking. We just have to make sure we throw spirals and the two quarterbacks that we’ve used primarily both throw a really tight ball.”

While the Red Raiders could utilize up to three quarterbacks, JT Daniels has thrown all but 11 of West Virginia’s 150 passes.

Daniels, who previously spent two seasons at USC and Georgia, says he’s accustomed to playing in less than ideal weather.

“I’ve never really considered weather heavily,” Daniels said. “Played in rain and played in snow when I was younger and played in a lot of wind. It changes a little bit when you’re there, but in general, there’s nothing you can do to prepare for it. You just go out and throw it.”

Perhaps West Virginia’s 33-10 win at Virginia Tech one month ago was the preparation for the conditions that will be present at Texas Tech.

For the Mountaineers’ wide receivers, Harrell believes it’s business as usual. 

“They have experience with wind. It could be really strong there. Hopefully, it’s a normal Lubbock day with some wind and not a giant wind, and it shouldn’t affect them much,” he said. “The thing about out there is you get a constant wind, but you can get some really strong winds. If it’s not blowing really strong, it’s not any different than anywhere else — other than there’s dirt in it.”

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