West Virginia and Texas Tech have limited football history.
They met in the Sun Bowl on New Year's Day 1938; the Mountaineers won 7-6, a score not likely to be repeated Saturday when Tech hosts West Virginia.
Other than that, the Red Raiders were hot after Clemson offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez to be their head coach in December 1998, but West Virginia won that derby and Tech settled for Mike Leach. Oh how fortunes were affected.
Leach begat Dana Holgorsen, who invigorated the OSU offense before becoming head coach at West Virginia, where he has the Mountaineers scoring in bunches and ranked fifth in the nation.
Saturday, Holgorsen takes his unbeaten Mountaineers to the Texas frontier, a culture clash everywhere except in offensive philosophy. Morgantown and Lubbock are 1,500 miles apart but share a propensity for a spread offense that airs it out but also likes to run the ball.
Holgorsen spent eight years on Leach's Tech staff, then took what he learned to Houston as offensive coordinator, OSU as offensive coordinator and now West Virginia as head coach.
“I had eight great years there,” Holgorsen said. “But I faced Texas Tech when I was at Houston and then played a road game at Texas Tech when I was at Oklahoma State. So it's nothing new to me.
“I'm five years removed and have been at three different places since then, so all those feelings and emotions went away a long time ago.”
New Tech coach Tommy Tuberville still uses Leach's basic offensive philosophy, except with more running plays. Which is what Holgorsen has embraced, too.
So far Holgorsen has been blessed. At each of his recent stops, a stud quarterback was waiting on campus. Case Keenum at Houston. Brandon Weeden at OSU. Geno Smith at West Virginia. Or maybe Holgorsen immediately put them into ideal situations.
“He's had some good quarterbacks,” Tuberville said. “And obviously, he's been a good quarterbacks coach everywhere he's been.”