Both Texas Tech and Texas go into this game with .500 records and a chance at a bowl. A win for either team in this game would put them at 5 wins and only needing one more to be guaranteed a bowl game.
Last year, the Red Raiders pulled out a win against the Longhorns in Austin on Thanksgiving by the score of 48-45. Texas Tech is without their top two performers from last year’s game in Jakeem Grant and DeAndre Washington who are both graduated and now playing in the NFL. The Longhorns are also without their top performer from last year’s game. Chris Warren III, who ran for 276 yards and four touchdowns in 2015’s loss, is injured and possibly out for the season for the Longhorns.
The good news for Texas is that they still have running back D’Onta Foreman, who ran for 250 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor last week, is set to start against the Red Raiders.
Both teams are coming off much needed wins and have momentum in their favor. This game should be loud and rowdy considering the atmosphere in Lubbock. Which could fare difficult for the Longhorns.
KICKOFF: Sat, Nov 5, 11:00 AM CT
WHERE: Jones AT&T Stadium (Lubbock, Texas)
WEATHER: Chilly with a chance of rain, high of 65°F
STREAM LIVE: Fox Sports Go
TV CREW: Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Bruce Feldman
BETTING LINE: Texas -3.5, O/U 80.5
Texas Longhorns (4-4, 2-3)
Texas is coming off a huge win over #8 ranked Baylor in Austin. The run game was evident in this one. The defense also made a few huge stops down the stretch.
Texas still does not have any away wins yet this season so we should see how they perform in a sold out Lubbock stadium come Saturday. Expect the Longhorns to run the ball a lot and get multiple big run gains.
Keys To The Game For Texas
Quarterback Play: Expect Tyrone Swoopes to be a big part of the Longhorn offense, especially in the red zone. Swoopes is a truck and can’t be stopped easily on those quarterback runs. Shane Buechele should be the quarterback most of the time, but with the weak Texas Tech defense Swoopes needs to have a big day on the ground.
Pass Game: Texas managed over 403 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in last year’s matchup. The had 64 passing yards and zero touchdowns in the air. They ended up losing the game. Granted, they did not have a good passing quarterback like Buechele. The Longhorns have to have a pass game in this one. Texas Tech is expecting the Longhorns to run the ball most of the time and can really throw the weak Texas Tech secondary off should they throw the ball.
Special Teams: Make your field goals. I don’t expect a lot of field goals to be attempted, but Texas needs to take advantage by making those few field goals they attempt. The difference in last week’s TCU-Texas Tech game was TCU not making their field goals. Texas hasn’t had a strong special teams this season and they really need to step up.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-4, 2-3)
Texas Tech is coming off a double overtime win over TCU in Fort Worth. This was an odd game for the Red Raiders, in which they only scored 27 points. I don’t expect many bad games from the Tech offense, so I really don’t think they will be as off as they were last week two weeks in a row. After all, Texas Tech is #2 in total offense after 8 weeks in all of division one college football.
Expect the Red Raiders to throw the ball a lot more than last game. The Longhorn’s defensive line has been disappointing this season, but Texas Tech’s run game is not good enough to get through it multiple times. The part of Texas Tech’s game that has made them so good, offensively over and over is their pass game. Patrick Mahomes got shaken up a little bit in last week’s game but should be good to go.
Keys To The Game For Tech
Patrick Mahomes: The best quarterback in the Big 12, and possibly the best in the nation, has to have a good game. Since his big injury against Kansas back in week five Mahomes has been on and off. The good news for the Red Raiders is that he has been good in the big games. Against Oklahoma Mahomes set a record for most all-purpose yards in a game ever. He doesn’t need to have a game like that, but something similar.
Pass, Pass, Pass: The run game is not going to be there against Texas like it was against TCU. Passing needs to be accurate and move the team down the field.
D-Line: Once the Texas running back’s get an inch of day light, they are really hard to take down. The defensive line needs to stop the running backs and Swoopes a few times at or behind the line of scrimmage to give the offense more time on the field. The also need to rush Buechele and make him work for his yardage.
In a close game, I think Texas Tech takes it in Lubbock in high scoring fashion. The Longhorn offense slips up and turns the ball over a few times. Patrick Mahomes throws for over 500 yards and three to four touchdowns through the air and two on the ground. Texas will still have a strong run game and Foreman will probably reach 200 yards, but Texas Tech makes a the key stops to win their second straight against the Longhorns. I think the score will be something like 52-48 Red Raiders.