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What They Know: Keenan Cummings breaks down the Mountaineers

Ahead of this Saturday's matchup with West Virginia, we sat down with Keenan Cummings of WVSports.com, the Rivals affiliate for the Mountaineers, to break down the new offense led by Graham Harrell and JT Daniels along with a strong defensive front for West Virginia.

Cummings spoke about the offense that Harrell is running and what the Red Raider defense can expect to see from them on Saturday.

“It's an air raid scheme that has been more balanced than people initially expected,” Cummings said. “West Virginia is going to throw the football, but when they've had the most success it has come when the Mountaineers are running the football effectively. Red Raider fans are plenty familiar with the air raid scheme, so I won't necessarily deep dive there, but this is going to remind them of things they've seen in the past.”

Leading that offensive attack is JT Daniels, the experienced transfer from Georgia, who has excelled under the guidance of Harrell. Cummings spoke on the quarterback and his performance this season.

“JT Daniels has been every bit of what he was expected to be coming into the season as he has shown plus arm talent while a serious understanding of the scheme as well as how to make checks at the line of scrimmage to get the offense in the right play,” Cummings said. “He isn't the most mobile option, but he has the ability to move around in the pocket and has made plays by keeping his eyes down the field.”

Cummings spoke about the weapons that Daniels has in his offense along with a deep running back room.

“Along with Daniels, West Virginia has a trio of wide receivers they will throw the ball to with Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Kaden Prather and Sam James as well as going three deep at running back,” Cummings said.

Leading the defensive attack is Dante Stills, who Weston Wright spoke highly about earlier in the week. Cummings spoke on the experienced D-Line and the standout super-senior.

“The defensive line is by far the strength of the unit with plenty of experience and talent,” Cummings said. “Dante Stills could have gone pro last year but elected to return in order to raise his stock and he has done that by playing with a non-stop motor.”

Despite the strong defensive line, the Mountaineers have struggled on the defensive side of the football and Cummings spoke on what has gone wrong for West Virginia on that side of the ball.

“The rush has been hit or miss when it comes to getting to the quarterback, but some of that is due to the issues unfolding at the second and third levels,” Cummings said. “The secondary has been a concern all season and while they made some strides against Baylor, there have simply been too many people running free too often.”

Cummings spoke about the keys to the game for the Mountiainers who have a challenge facing what’s been a strong D-Line for Texas Tech.

“West Virginia has to be able to run the football effectively and protect their quarterback on the offensive side of the ball,” Cummings said. “It goes without saying that winning the turnover battle and special teams will be major concerns. On defense, the Mountaineers have to make things difficult for Texas Tech and avoid some of the pitch and catch that has been happening.”

With the Red Raiders favored by a touchdown, Cummings gave his projection for how things will play out on Saturday.

“This series is always wild and when you think you have it figured out something surprises you,” Cummings said. “I think these are two teams that are similar with both playing well for the most part but coming up short in some early season games. I think West Virginia certainly has it in them to go on the road and win this game but right now with so many question marks on both sides I'd lean slightly to the home team.”

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